# 10-2022 Community Advisor News

8 June 2022

Kia ora koutou,

How did it get to be June so soon?!  On a positive note, it is less than 2 weeks to the shortest day which is encouraging.  We hope that you are keeping safe and well especially as we head into winter with those additional seasonal viruses now floating about. 


In this month’s news we look at getting back to in person work with people with MS which we find so rewarding.  The obvious elephant in the room, COVID, which is still circulating so we update you there.  Then we have included a number of news updates and resources for you to flick through at your leisure.


Need to talk to a MS Community Advisor?

Our service is still operating in this COVID-19 environment and with the Omicron wave ‘off-peak’ we are re-establishing in person work as well as continuing contact by phone, email and video conferencing.  It is still important to continue to use all those important public health measures such as, staying home if unwell, wearing masks when possible, maintaining some physical distance.  Take a look at the attached PDF which outlines our policy, under the Orange Traffic Light setting, in working with PwMS. 


Please note that we do not provide an urgent or emergency service.  If you need this level of service you can contact your GP, phone Healthline on 0800 611 116, visit your Emergency Department or phone 111 in the event of an emergency.


COVID-19 Update

Second infection

Clinicians are starting to see people in our communities experiencing a second COVID-19 infection or suffering from a relapse and testing positive for a second time a number of months after their initial infection.

Having COVID-19 is does not protect people against getting it again and it remains important to continue to protect ourselves and others by following Ministry of Health guidance.

Greater Wellington Covid-19 Hub (covid19wellingtonregion.health.nz)


Anti-viral treatments

Molnupiravir (trade name Lagevrio) and the other oral antiviral Paxlovid can be prescribed to people aged over 18 years with mild or moderate COVID-19 symptoms who have combination of factors that put them at a

higher risk - including Māori and Pacific peoples, elderly, unvaccinated, and people with complex health needs and/or disabilities. These oral antivirals should be administered as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five

days of symptoms appearing. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who have existing health conditions can contact their health practitioner for an assessment.


Long Covid

The Ministry of Health has established a long COVID programme with the goal of disseminating emerging models of care, clinical practice, patient self-management and digital enablement to support patients with long COVID-19 in a New Zealand context.

Long COVID | Ministry of Health NZ


Updated My Vaccine Pass

Since the introduction of My Vaccine Pass last year, the COVID-19 vaccination landscape has changed. While My Vaccine Pass is not legally required, people are encouraged to have their pass for when it might be needed.

You can get an updated My Vaccine Pass in two phases:

Phase 1: from 24 May, an updated My Vaccine Pass will be available for anyone aged 12 and over who is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as those with a temporary medical exemption.

Phase 2: from 31 May, if people are not up-to-date with their vaccinations because they’ve had COVID-19 in the last 3 months, you will be able to request a My Vaccine Pass.

Proof of your vaccination status | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)


Homegrown COVID-19 booster vaccine

Hear from the Malaghan Institute about a homegrown COVID-19 booster vaccine that could protect our population against future waves and variants of COVID-19

Homegrown COVID-19 booster vaccine: building New Zealand’s biomedical capability (malaghan.org.nz)


A new ministry for disabled people

From 1 July 2022 a New Ministry for disabled people will be established.  “People will continue to receive disability support services, but from 1 July, they will come from the new Ministry. This is the start of a move towards a ‘whole-of-life’ approach to disability rather than viewing disability as a ‘health issue’.


“Once a chief executive is in place, establishment has been completed, including recruitment of people with the skills and experience needed, and operations have been fine-tuned, the new Ministry will begin work to address the systemic issues that impact disabled people.”


You can read more about the new Ministry via the following links:



AmplifyU is a safe and open place for you to find information, share your views and engage with the community about the new Ministry for Disabled People

amplifyu | Social Pinpoint



As we have discussed in previous updates, Infection with Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a known risk factor for developing multiple sclerosis.  Read more about this fascinating area here:

Latest progress in development of a new EBV vaccine - MS Australia



A reminder that the OMS site contains some really interesting and useful resources so if you want to learn more, or are stuck for ideas have a read:

Multiple Sclerosis Books & Resources | Overcoming MS



Pharmac considering widening access

You may have noticed in the recent budget that Pharmac is proposing to widen the access criteria for 8 disease modifying therapies for MS.  Further information can be found here:

Proposal to fund treatment earlier for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis - Pharmac | New Zealand Government


Welcome to our new Community Advisor

It’s been great working with Lacey Reedy over the last four weeks and she is now off and away contacting clients.  Lacey covers Wellington – Waikanae and works business hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Feel free to get in touch with Lacey on lacey@mswellington.org.nz or phone 04-388-8127.


Community Advisors on conference

Our annual conference organised by MSNZ is coming up next week in Christchurch.  It is such a valuable time for us to be able to network with all our colleagues in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as learn and develop new skills that support us in our roles.  Our Community Advisors will be on conference from Wednesday 15 June to Friday 16 June.


Total Mobility – discounted taxi cards

REMINDER: If you haven’t used your card for 3 years it will be cancelled.  Don’t get caught short, if you’d like your card reactivated or need a new one, please email me, Lacey or Shona in the Wairarapa.

Fares will be half price on all Metlink buses, ferries and trains until 31 August 2022, this also includes He Ratonga Tekehī the Total Mobility service.  If people hold a Community Services card, then the half price fare continues after 1 August .  For full information click here:

Total Mobility » Metlink



Ngā mihi,

Gillian, Shona and Lacey


Gillian Fry

Manager & Lead Community Advisor