Religious Communities Learning about the Vaccine

03 March 2021

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Two RDC trustees, Selva Ramasami and Jocelyn Armstrong, attended the Zoom gathering of 140 community leaders invited to a briefing from the Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, the Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities,  Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health in New Zealand, Manatū Hauora, and  Marama Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive (Māori, Communities and Partnerships), Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora,  the Ministry of Social Development,  on Tuesday 23 February during the Auckland week of Lockdown.

Everyone was encouraged to ensure that people have the correct information about the pandemic and now, in particular, about the vaccine.  It will be important over the coming months to encourage everyone to have confidence in the vaccine, to assure everyone that it has been well tested, is safe and it works!

Currently, one COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty™, an mRNA vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech) is available in New Zealand. It was interesting to learn from Dr Bloomfield that this particular vaccine is one that is not difficult to adjust if a variant of the virus is encountered.  The vaccine is safe to use from the religious perspective in that it is kosher and halal.

Go to for correct information including a link to good notes about the vaccine – and regular Health Department updates – available in different languages and for MSD -COVID-19 – Where to go for Services and Support