Expat leaders back jab

Saturday January 25, 2020 Written by Published in Health

Two expat communities are urging their country men and women to take part in the Ministry of Health’s MMR vaccination programme.


The programme started a week ago, after Te Marae Ora received 3,000 additional vaccines during the holiday period.

Public Health’s director Dr Tereapii Uka urged expatriate workers to be vaccinated as “it’s only fair” to Cook Islanders and others who have been immunised.

The vaccinations are being provided at a cost of $5 and $10 per shot.

Fijian Community vice president Savenaca Tukitoba said: “I think our Fijian community needs to get vaccinated as outlined by the Ministry of Health.”

Employers, too, must encourage their expat workers to get vaccinated if they don’t have a certificate showing they’re already immunised, he added. Workers do not need a day off for the jab – it takes less than half an hour.

“That’s one of the obstacles too for Fijians around the island, to get time to get vaccinated,” he said.

It was encouraging to see the Public Health team round and about in other work places giving workers the jab, he added. “I think the onus should also be on the employers, to call Public Health to come down to their workplace.”

For the Filipino community, vice president Elfred Fausto said the MMR vaccines were important and their community have been actively visiting the public health office for their shots. He urged others expat worker to do the same.

The public health team was offering immunisations at the Tupapa clinic, and some were also going out to resorts or private businesses to deliver the vaccine to staff.

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