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By Sri Krishnamurthi, RNZ Pacific digital journalist

South Seas Healthcare Trust chief executive Lemalu Silao Vaisola says people are tired of covid-19 rather than complacent after two years of the pandemic.

He said he had seen fatigue set in which could explain the low uptake of the booster shot in the Pacific community.

“People are just covid-fatigued where everything is all about self-isolation, traffic lights and the lockdowns.

“I think it is just fatigue, people are just tired. So I don’t know if it is complacency, but it’s been ongoing and two years is a long time to go through changes.”

Lemalu said the South Seas Healthcare team were preparing now for omicron to hit communities just like they had done in the past two years of covid-19.

He said the team intended to use the Manukau Insititute of Technology campus for a booster vaccination drive to get rates up.

“We’ve still got the MIT sites that’s during vaccinations and we’ve got a drive through vaccination for increasing the boosters and five to 11 [year olds] and on top of that we’ve been training our staff in terms of outreach into the homes.”

Front and centre
Lemalu said his organisation was front and centre fighting the delta strain and the experience stood them in good stead.

“We’ve got a good template to respond, but again every variant so far provides its own set of challenges,” he said.

“I’m happy that we’ve sort of almost had two years experience that will position us to hopefully be ready for this, but like I said before it’s different from what we are seeing overseas.

“We plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

He is encouraging Pacific families to get a booster shot.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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