Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu urges Tongan community to get COVID-19 vaccines

    Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu Fotofili issued an appeal this evening urging Tongans in Auckland to get inoculated against COVID-19, saying the unvaccinated are a risk to all of us.

    Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu. Photo/Sreenshot

    Speaking during a zoom call hosted by the Pacific Media Network on Facebook the Princess said Tongans in Auckland has the Pasifika islands community highest percentage of people vaccinated against COVID-19 which was an equivalent of 3360 people. She did not say whether this was the number of Tongans who were fully vaccinated or not.

    She said while 10,640 Tongans were awaiting their second dose 12,536 Tongans have yet to get their first shots.

    “Kāinga Tonga I appeal to you who have yet to do your first dose. It is very dangerous to our family and our people in Aotearoa,” the Princess said.

    “I ask the youth and those between 12 to 29 years old to join in so it could encourage your generation to get vaccinated”.

    The Princess was speaking ahead of this morning’s beginning of a three-day Malu’i Ma’a Tonga or Get Vaccinated To Protect Tonga inoculation programme at the Tuingapapai Church at Favona, South Auckland.

    Meanwhile, there were 60 new community cases reported today: 56 in Auckland and four in Waikato.

    There were also two cases reported at the border today.

    Of today’s 60 cases, 22 are yet to be linked to earlier cases.

    There are 166 unlinked cases from the past 14 days.

    There are 43 people in hospital, including five in intensive care.

    People in Rosedale, Redvale and Bayswater with even mild symptoms, or who are vaccinated, are being urged to get tested.

    People in the west Auckland suburb of New Lynn are being told to do the same.

    Vaccination botch-up

    Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 21 people who received an expired or low vaccine dose recently did not undermine trust in the entire rollout programme.

    Six people in the Bay of Plenty received diluted vaccines.

    Meanwhile in Wellington, 15 people were given vaccines that had expired the day before.

    Bloomfield said this was not harmful and the fact it was picked up so quickly showed robust the system was .

    Why vaccinated people dying from Covid-19 doesn’t mean the vaccines are ineffective

    In the US, there were questions why vaccinated people dying from Covid-19, after the former US Secretary of State Colin Powell died on Monday of Covid-19 complications. His family announced that he was fully vaccinated. He was 84 years old, and had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

    CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, said: “We need to start with the science and what the research shows. The Covid-19 vaccines are extraordinarily effective in preventing illness and especially severe disease. The most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that they reduce the likelihood of testing positive for Covid-19 by six-fold and the likelihood of death by 11-fold.

    “That means that if you are vaccinated, you are six times less likely to get Covid-19 than someone who’s unvaccinated. And you are 11 times less likely to die from Covid-19 compared to an unvaccinated person. That’s really excellent.

    However, the Covid-19 vaccines do not protect you 100%. No vaccine does, just likely virtually no medical treatment is 100% effective. That doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work, or that you shouldn’t take it”.

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