Push for South Auckland to be a priority for Covid-19 vaccines

Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) CEO, Debbie Sorensen, appeared on Newshub national news last night to push for the South Auckland community to be next in line with vaccinations, once our border workers have had their shots.

Mrs Sorensen’s comments come amid a current Covid-19 outbreak in Papatoetoe and its surrounding suburbs seven months after the area was the site of the main cluster during the August lockdown.

“In South Auckland, we have many people who live in a collective way in their houses. For example, in my house we have 11 people in our bubble and that’s not uncommon,” she told Newshub.

Phase one of the vaccination plan was rolled out last week and border workers and their families were the priority.  Sorensen says that South Auckland should also be a priority because many from this community work in the border frontline or live with or by those who do.

“We also, as a community, have a very high attendance at church so every week we have people who are gathering.”

Sorensen’s television appearance on Newhub follows an interview she gave to Radio New Zealand earlier in the week.

“Our border is not in Remuera or the North Shore, the border is in South Auckland,” Debbie told RNZ’s Morning Report.

“The airport is based in Māngere and, of course, a high number of people that are working on the border and the quarantine facilities live in South Auckland.”

She also expressed that an earlier rollout plan in South Auckland would not need to come at the expense of the rest of New Zealand.

“We’re so efficient as a country in terms of being able to roll out vaccination programmes that it won’t be that long before everyone else will also have access to the vaccine, so there is definitely a case to be made.”

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Date: Friday 26 February 2021