March 17, 2021
South Canterbury Maori hesitant on vaccines
National Party health spokesperson Shane Reti is alarmed at what appears to be a high level of vaccine hesitancy among Māori in Te Waipounamu.
Dr Reti has been quizzing the Health Minister about the percentage of declined childhood vaccines across district health board areas.
He says in the last quarter of 2020 the DHB with the highest overall vaccines declined was Bay of Plenty, but for Māori it was South Canterbury with 26.3 percent, followed by West Coast at 22.2 percent.
"I would not have expected South Canterbury and Māori in South Canterbury to hold these sort of views so strongly so I am trying to understand what this means, why there is that historical change or whether in fact it's a proxy for the coronavirus vaccine, looking at whether adults would have their children vaccinated, and it's just a three month period before Christmas," Dr Reti says.
Dr Reti says in the Bay of Plenty 15.2 percent of Māori said they didn’t want their 2-year-olds vaccinated.
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