Pacific-run vaccination clinics in Dunedin offer safe space to ask questions

Attendees at the Pacific Trust Otago vaccination clinics get instant access to ask any questions about the vaccine or Covid 19.

Vaccination clinics have been held every Saturday since the start of lockdown at Pacific Trust Otago in response to community requests.

The clinics are supervised by Pacific doctors and medical staff from the University of Otago who are there to ease any worries that may come from the community. This gives those who come in an opportunity to ask any questions about the vaccine or virus.

“In our clinics you see someone who looks like you and talks like you which makes things more approachable for Pasifika people compared to general clinics” says medical student Michelle Knowler.

Pacific medical students have worked alongside PTO and Pacific medical staff in running the clinics. Dr Letava Tafuna’I says it is a good opportunity for students involved in health profession courses to learn about medical promotion and clinical work.

The approach taken by PTO has given the clinic team and patients a safe environment to come into. Pacific music, food, prizes, and smiles are provided creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

“What we find from this is a lot of families feel safe to come in and ask questions to the medical staff as a whanau. Having a more personal experience here compared to other clinics really helps” says Pacific Trust Otago general manager Lloyd Maole.

Pacific Trust Otago will continue clinics throughout the rest of the year in hopes to get the Pacific community in Dunedin fully vaccinated.