The Government is providing $1.5 million to help Pacific community-led initiatives as Omicron continues to spread across Aotearoa.

Associate Minister of Health Aupito William Sio said on Wednesday that the funds will be used to support Pacific community groups to help with the uptake of boosters and child vaccinations. 

It is vital to get as many children as possible vaccinated before winter, Sio said. 

"The vaccine plays an important part in our preparations for Omicron. We need to ensure our 5–11-year-old Pacific children are vaccinated and that all of our eligible Pacific peoples get their booster when they become due."

97 percent of Pasifika have received their first dose and 94 percent are fully vaccinated with two doses. 

According to the Ministry of Health as of Tuesday, 25 percent of Pasifika aged 5-11 years old have had one dose of the vaccine. 

“However, data for booster uptake shows Pacific rates are still low in comparison with other communities in Aotearoa. Only 32 percent of Pacific people due for a booster have received one so far compared to 42 percent of Māori," Sio said

Pacific community groups predominantly in Tāmaki Makaurau can apply for funding although groups from around Aotearoa. 

Community groups, Pacific churches, Pacific youth groups and other groups that work with marginalised Pacific communities will be eligible to apply for up to $40,000.

The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund, which is being managed by The Cause Collective, will run until June 30 or when funds have been fully distributed.

 Top Image: Person getting vaccinated. (File photo) Photo: Capuski/iStock

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