IMAC has been serving New Zealand since 1997 by providing independent, evidence based information on vaccine-preventable diseases and the benefits and risks of immunisation. IMAC trains New Zealand’s vaccinators, supports health professionals and provides policy advice and research. They have been contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide education and support to all health professionals and allied workforces across New Zealand during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Aided by teacher Rachel Pettigrew and Cultural Language Assistant Raghad Al-Eswad, Kate presented the facts around Covid 19, how the virus works and how the vaccine can protect from it. Raghad translated to the predominantly Arabic learners attending.
This presentation was just the latest in an ongoing campaign from ELP to help its learners comprehend the language and societal implications of the pandemic.
Kate, a trained Registered Nurse of over 15 years, joined IMAC in April this year to work as a COVID Immunisation Education Facilitator. Her role sees her help train and support the vaccinator workforce we need to protect our community with our COVID-19 vaccines.
Kate says, "To be able to come to the Dunedin ELP centre and talk about the vaccine with the learners (and staff) was a great experience for me as an educator and fellow Dunedin-ite. I was excited to be able to share some of my knowledge and evidence based information with the learners, as I could only imagine how challenging it must be to access clear and factual information about the vaccine when English isn’t your first language.
“Prior to working for IMAC, I was at Public Health South where I was involved with contact tracing and case management during our COVID outbreak in 2020. After seeing how devastating and disruptive this disease can be, I was so happy and grateful that I could get vaccinated and help protect both myself, my family and friends from this disease.
"Part of our role as COVID Immunisation Education Facilitators (or CIFs) is to support the DHB with the vaccine rollout. With our country needing to get as many people protected with a vaccine as possible, there is a huge demand from workplaces/schools/communities to get factual information about the vaccines, so Southern DHB asked for our help to engage with the public and talk things through with them when we could.
I wanted to help empower the ELP group to be able to share their new knowledge with their communities to help counter any misinformation or myths. - Kate from IMAC
"I wanted to help empower the ELP group to be able to share their new knowledge with their communities to help counter any misinformation or myths that may be floating about. The ELP learners were great to talk to as they were respectful, engaged and able to feel comfortable asking questions (either in their own language or in English) which is a testament to how well supported they must feel within the school community.
"I know that the vast majority of the class were doubly vaccinated but I still think that they gained a lot from learning more(for example what was in the vaccine, how it was made so fast, the safety and side effects) so they could share that knowledge with their family and friends. I think it is important that they continue to access information from trusted sources such as https://covid19.govt.nz or the translated information on the Ministry of Health website https://covid19.govt.nz/iwi-and-communities/translations