A new team has been mobilised to support disabled people to access transport and get vaccinated in a way that suits their needs, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

As a service provider in the disability community, it is important that we share this information with our clients.

What we know

A new 30-man team of specialist supporters have been tasked with answering calls and questions, assisting disabled people and their carers to get the information and support they need. People can call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 for free 8 am – 8 pm Monday to Friday and ‘push 2’ to speak to one of the team.

Support has included ensuring sites have mobility assistance in place, arranging sign language interpreters, providing transport options, ensuring 1737 phone counsellors are available to support people with needle anxiety, and other bespoke solutions developed for individuals alongside District Health Boards. The team is already having a positive impact, supporting over 440 disabled people in the first two weeks since the team began taking calls. This is another step in the right direction as we continue to remove barriers to vaccinations for disabled people, and make the vaccination programme accessible, inclusive and mana-enhancing.

A toolkit is available for people supporting disabled peoples with key messages, digital assets for social media channels, newsletters and website, frequently asked questions, and links to further information and resources. Click here to access the toolkit.