Hukarere Girls’ College heeds the call to get vaccinated

Hukarere Girls’ College staff and students played their part in the fight against COVID-19 by rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated.

Twelve girls, along with several staff received their first, and in some cases, the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a pop-up clinic run by Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri at the school on Thursday.

It was part of a drive by Principal Shona West and management to get the school fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

Ms West, who got her second dose at the clinic, said she had a responsibility to ensure the safety of her students.

“The Delta strain is even more devastating and for that reason, I’ve listened to the medical fraternity and the word of the Prime Minister, and I will rely on their word as I believe we need to keep our girls and whanau safe.”

The students come from all over the country and Australia, and for that reason, she says it is “even more important” to heed the call and use every means of protection available.

The girls were able to choose whether they received a vaccination, and the Kura sought permission from their parents beforehand.

Getting vaccinated herself was a way to combat misinformation and be a role model.

Ms West said close to a third of the college had received their first dose.

Those who are not yet vaccinated will be encouraged to get their first dose when Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri come back in three weeks time.

A trip to the movies is being planned for Term 4.

Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri delivered the vaccinations and held a korero with staff and students to run through the process and address any concerns they had prior to getting the jab.

Operations Manager, and site lead Tessa Robin, who is closely connected to the kura, said they were privileged to be able to vaccinate those at the Kura.

As the only Māori health provider based in Napier delivering vaccinations in the community, they had vaccinated many people of all ages.

“These are our wahine, they’re our future, so it’s really important in my opinion that we protect them.”

“Our girls come from all over the motu here and they have the potential to come across potential risks so it’s very important.”

Year 11 student Naturelle Rangiawha said she chose to get vaccinated for her nans and koros’.

While fellow student Jahzel Potaka said she not only wanted to keep those around her safe but getting vaccinated meant she was able to travel.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and the support was nice.”

The Kura has also had custom face masks with its logo printed on them, to keep everyone safe wherever they go.