Vaccine event for Christchurch’s Chinese community heralded a success

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A vaccination grant specifically for ethnic minorities has made a Chinese group in Christchurch feel more connected to the wider community.

The Christchurch Chinese Advisory Network Group and volunteers.

The Christchurch Chinese Advisory Network Group and volunteers. Photo: SUPPLIED

The Chinese Advisory Networking Group held a vaccination event in November targeting Christchurch’s Chinese communities, with funding from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities’ Covid-19 Vaccine Uptake fund.

More than 90 people were vaccinated at the event at the Maui Clinic in South City Shopping Centre.

Group member Cissy Chen said having a Mandarin speaking nurse helped some people feel safer to ask questions about the vaccine.

The event left the community feeling warm, supported, and helped by the government, and it also helped boost the region’s overall vaccination numbers, she said.

“In Christchurch we’re a multicultural city, so we promoted the multicultural in the city and we’re showing we are one,” Chen said.

“I want the Chinese locals in Christchurch to feel like the New Zealand government cares about them.”

It was important for Chinese people to know they are part of the New Zealand community, regardless of how long they have been here, she said.

Uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine by Asians continues to be higher than other ethnic groups, with more than 99 percent fully-vaccinated.’

A sense of responsibility towards the wider community could be behind the high vaccination rates, Chen said.

“For Chinese, we are trying to be responsible for the community, and we understand it protects ourselves as well as protects others.

“For young children and even for some people at this stage they probably haven’t got the chance to take the vaccine.”

Those who can get the vaccine have a responsibility to do so, Chen said.

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