The New Zealand government relies on gangs for a successful vaccination campaign

The New Zealand government relies on gangs for a successful vaccination campaign

New Zealand is ready to do anything to get out of this troubling situation. Keen to vaccinate 90% of the eligible population, the government turned to gang leaders for help.

While 86% of the eligible population has already received at least one dose, the New Zealand government is now facing an obstacle to reaching the 90% mark. The gang community, made up predominantly of Maori and Pacific Islanders, is actually less likely to comply with vaccination efforts. During the past two months, multiple epidemics have been reported among members of several organizations.

As a result, the police and the Ministry of Health worked with the gangs to help vaccination And looking for contacts. Two leaders of the Mongrel Mob, the country’s most dangerous gang, have been given “passes” at the border so they can move freely on the island, the government said. The New York Times.

“Our priority is to stop Covid-19”

Chris Hepkins, the minister responsible for managing the pandemic, acknowledged it was an “extraordinary”, but necessary, practice. Our priority is to stop Covid-19 in its tracks. This means we have to deal with the virus.”

Some gang leaders also acted independently to aid in the vaccination effort. The latter has put members of their community in contact with health officials, through Facebook Live, to prevent risks associated with the pandemic. Other heads of organizations have delivered vaccines directly to communities themselves.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of gang membership in the world. There are about 8,000 gang members in the country (out of about 5 million people), according to the latest police estimates, and many of them live in urban poverty.

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