Family of Pasifika border worker among first household contacts to receive Covid-19 vaccinations

March 09, 2021

By Elijah Fa'afiu - elijah.fa'

A Pasifika border worker's family were among the first household contacts to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the country's first large-scale vaccination clinic in South Auckland.

James Fogasavaii is an Air New Zealand employee who works as a Resources Coordinator in the Airports team.

He says it's important for his family to be protected from the Covid-19 virus.

"I think it's vital that they do get it and it will be good so we can be advocates for our community, especially for church, just to spread the word that it is important to get this vaccination done."

James' sister Denise and parents Sa and Luana, who are household contacts, received their vaccine jabs today.

Denise Fogasavaii says getting the vaccination was necessary, given the people who stay in her household.

“Level four was hectic for us because he (James) had to isolate separately from our family, especially when we’ve got vulnerable people at home as well. I’ve got my parents, my aunty and my uncle, so it was important for me to actually get it as well.”

Household contact Denise Fogasavaii receiving her first Covid-19 vaccination. Photo supplied.

Denise and James' father, Sa Fogasavaii, is grateful to have been given an extra layer of security against the Covid-19 virus.

“Thank you God, thank you for the doctors, everybody, now I am so strong today, I’m not scared. 

“If you love your kids, come and do it.”

Group Manager for the Covid-19 Vaccine and Immunisation Programme Joe Bourne says household contacts who were vaccinated were being considerate of those they live with.

“That is a key motivating factor for people to come in and get vaccinated. Not necessarily thinking about their own protection, but acknowledging the higher risk environment in which they’re working and how they can protect their mokopuna, their kaumatua within their communities.

“That’s been really amazing to see how people are actually seeing this as a community responsibility to be vaccinated not just based on their own protection.”

Approximately 134 household contacts received their jabs today, which is a number health authorities are looking to maintain and possibly ramp up over the next six weeks.

The Fogasavaii family (from L-R): Denise, Luana and Sa. Photo supplied.