An Auckland medical clinic offering the Covid-19 vaccine and testing continued its Sunday vaccination service after being vandalised overnight.
The general manager of the Pasefika Family Health clinic in Panmure, Galumalemana Togiai Vaifagaloa Naseri, says their front door was smashed with a large rock, the Covid-19 notices pulled off and scattered on the ground.
She says they have made a police report, but it wasn’t what they wanted patients to see.
“We still have people lined up for vaccinations so staff will continue with the work.”
Police say they were notified just before 9am and inquiries into the incident are ongoing.
Community leaders have set up a tent outside the Queens Rd clinic after Naseri reached out for help, including members of the Samoa Mo Samoa community group, local councillor Josephine Bartley and chair of the Covid-19 Pacific Response Co-ordination Team Pakilau Manase Lua.
“The community are not going to have it. We’ve got Tongans here, Samoans all working together to protect this clinic since this morning to show solidarity to our community,” said Lua.
Naseri says the clinic has been on the receiving end of nasty, even threatening messages on social media for the past three days as they worked on the area’s vaccination events.
“At first we thought, who? Delete, delete. Threatening they will burn us down, something like that.”
She believes anti-vaxxers are behind the vandalism. “No one would go to the extreme of pulling down the vaccination signs and notices … it’s someone with a purpose.
“They’re free to say what they want, but this is not on.”
She says the property’s security cameras should help police identify the offenders.
“We have family doctors and nurses operating from our cheapie service … when we are trying our best to support and protect our people, and they come around and do this to us. Not fair.”
Lua says the clinic is the only building in the area that was damaged.
“I ask those who were involved, please check yourself, because this is something we will not stand for.”
“It will not hinder our work as frontliners,” says Naseri. “This has made us come together as Pasifika providers, to support each other.”
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