A COVID-19 vaccination booster promotion campaign, funded by the Ministry of Ethnic Communities and undertaken by the Digi Language Support (DLS) team, an arm of Asian Family Services (AFS), is currently underway and will end in December 2022.
“At the moment we have achieved over 90% of our proposed uptake goal. Over 400 people from a variety of ethnic minority groups have registered and taken part in our campaign, either online or offline.” states campaign manager Dr Bo Ning. “As of now, our ethnically diverse participants include migrants from China, India, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Congo Republic and more. The oldest is a senior citizen aged 89 years, who was yet to receive their second booster dose, and the youngest was an 8-year-old child who would be receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine”.
“Increasing the uptake rate of COVID boosters received amongst New Zealand’s ethnic minorities is the aim of this national campaign.” says Kelly Feng, CE of AFS.
To spread this message to a wider group of ethnic minority communities, the DLS team translated the campaign poster into 17 different languages including 13 Asian languages/texts and four non-Asian languages/texts. These were simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hindi, Nepalese, Cambodian, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Samoan, Somali, Tamil, Vietnamese, Thai, Spanish, Russian and English.
Dr Bo Ning went on to say that “in an effort to reach out to ethnic minority communities and connect with people living in different communities, DLS has already collaborated with many institutions and organisations across different cities”.
“In the Christchurch region, we partnered with the local Chinese Community Group to deliver a COVID-19 vaccination event especially for the Chinese community on the 13th of August, delivering over 100 COVID-19 vaccinations on the day. In Wellington, we joined forces with the Wellington Chinese Association and Multicultural Council of Wellington to jointly deliver an on-ground vaccination event from July to October. In Auckland, we have held two separate Vax Day events, in Mangere and Northcote respectively in September/October, with the support of NRHCC, to serve the local Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese communities; we have delivered approximately 150 vaccinations across the two Vax Days in September.”
“Besides the offline activities, our online campaign has also attracted over 100 ethnic participants by providing their recent immunisation records through email. The online campaign facilitates those who were not able to join a vax day event.”
“Armed with posters in multiple languages, we have also visited many organisations and institutes that serve communities. We have posted up or disseminated our campaign posters to the following organisations: Christchurch Citizens Advice Bureaus (CABs), Christchurch Resettlement Services (CRS), Christchurch Chinese Seniors Association, Christchurch Korean Association, Wellington Multicultural Council, Future Dragon, Wellington Seniors Club, Hamilton City Library and Hamilton CAB, 4 Auckland CABs (CAB Mt Eden/Albert, CAB Pakuranga Eastern Manukau, CAB Glenfield and CAB Browns Bay), 5 Auckland libraries (Te Manawa Library, Pakuranga Library, Devonport Library, Birkenhead Library, Browns Bay Library) and 4 community centres in Auckland, North Shore Chinese Association and many other community-based institutions. These institutions, organisations and associations have joined our cause and helped jointly promote COVID-19 vaccinations for ethnic migrants and refugee communities.”
“This action is necessary to spread the news of the campaign to ethnic people who rarely use the internet, or for those who do not know how to use it to access information.”
“We are grateful for the collaborations and support from different organisations and institutions, and special thanks go to our hard-working staff in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch who spared time to support this campaign.” said Kelly.
The national campaign will finish off with a lucky draw for the successful participants in December.