March 30, 2020
Free flu jabs ready for under-65s with conditions
The Health Ministry’s deputy director-general of Māori health says many Māori may be missing out on flu jabs because they don’t realise what they are entitled to.
The ministry is encouraging people to get the vaccinations early because having less influenza in the community will free up resources that may be needed to deal with cases of COVID-19.
John Whaanga says part of the structural imbalance in the health system is the way information gets out or even the way Māori discern that information.
An example is the focus on free vaccinations for those over 65.
"If you’ve got chronic conditions, if you've got respiratory illnesses, things like that, you're eligible for free vaccine, and that's certainly a message we're pumping through the ministry and the DHBs to make sure our people know they're eligible. I think there's a lot of attention paid to 65 and older and not a lot of attention paid to some of the others.," Mr Whaanga says.
He’s heartened by the way Māori have responded to the restrictions, and the Ministry is considering changes to the restrictions around tangihanga.
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