Cup of Tea and a Covid-19 vaccine
30/09/2021 11:57:37 a.m.

Thursday 30 September 2021

Cup of Tea and a Covid-19 vaccine

Residents of Western Heights can drop in for a cup of tea and Covid-19 vaccine at a pop-up health shop.

Rapu Oranga on Brooklands Rd has been open for the last year enabling the Western Heights community to have conversations about health in a non-clinical environment.

It’s an initiative run by Western Heights Health Centre.

On Tuesday 28 September it started offering Covid-19 vaccinations with a cup of tea.

“We wanted to do our part and make it as comfortable as we can for people,” says practice nurse Mary McLean.

“It’s giving people more options and allowing them to have a gentle experience with people they know.

“We’ve thousands of patients enrolled with the practice and we were getting worried about our vaccination rate.

“We thought we’d try something different and see how people respond.”

Dr Alistair McLean is phoning un-vaccinated patients to find out what their concerns are.

He has been encouraging them to visit Rapu Oranga if only for a chat and a cup and tea first.

The shop is open 9am to 3.30pm Tuesday to Thursday this week and next and is a drop-in service. It’s being supported by Western Heights Pharmacy, which is in the process of being set up for vaccinations.

“It’s about accessibility,” says Western Heights Pharmacy owner Cam Montieth.

“We know there’s a lack of transport out here and people do find it difficult to get to town. There are around 5000 in this community. While many will be vaccinated some haven’t been, so we have to give every opportunity a crack.”

The shop is being staffed by a registered nurse vaccinator from the Covid-19 Immunisation Hub at the Central Mall and is a partnership with Te Arawa Covid-19.