Meet Rose and Otila.
They are leading the way when it comes to protecting our Pacific community by getting their first COVID-19 vaccination doses and training to vaccinate others.
They have more than 40 years of experience working in the health sector between them. Otila has extensive experience working mainly in general and obstetric nursing in hospitals in Samoa and New Zealand while Rose is experienced in dialysis, aged care and supporting GP services.
Rose Nimarota, left, and Otila Tefono are helping to protect our community from COVID-19.
Both are Speciality Clinical Nurses, working in the 3DHB Pacific Health Unit and helping to protect communities from COVID-19.
"For Otila and myself, that also means just being good Pacific role-models," Rose said.
Based at Hutt Hospital, the pair recently completed an Influenza, MMR and Pandemic Vaccinator Foundation Course then went on to complete a COVID-19 education course. They are now trained vaccinators, able to support our staff and Community Vaccination Centres.They will help other staff to get vaccinated and people in our community.
All in all, the online training took about eight hours, which they fitted in part-time around their regular work.
"As a Speciality Clinical Nurse and working frontline, it’s important that we get the COVID-19 vaccination because as nurses we have a duty of care to our patients.
"As a Pacific mother, this duty of care extends to my family and the Pacific community," Rose said.
"We acknowledge that Pacific people may have some fears and doubt about the vaccination and this is normal.
"We encourage them to talk to a health professional, ring their GP clinic and speak to a nurses, ring HealthLine on 0800 611116 or they can even ring through to the Pacific Health Units at Hutt Valley or Wellington hospitals. We can help with information so Pacific people can feel safe in making the right choices."
Previous COVID-19 lockdowns had impacted communities by restricting people from coming together for community and family events. Vaccination is an important step in protecting our communities against COVID-19.
"We would advise our families to get the vaccine,” Otila said. “It’s important we are protected against COVID-19. That we are safe, that our families are safe and that we live in a safe community."
3DHB Pacific Health director Dr Avataeao Junior Ulu said the team were “very proud” of Otila and Rose and their efforts to be trained vaccinators within their substantive roles.
"Otila and Rose will work with other Pacific nurses with a view of strengthening the collective Pacific capability in the Greater Wellington region."
The Positively Pacific COVID-19 Response website aims to help get accurate COVID-19 information to our Region’s Pacific communities in the battle to stop the spread and if possible, to eliminate coronavirus.