March 25, 2021
Jab plan more than numbers
Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare says guidelines for Māori and Pacific health providers rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine have been left broad so they can exercise their judgment.
Mr Henare was at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae today to outline to the community some of the steps being taken in coming weeks and months, when the Counties Manukau Health Board area is next in the queue after managed isolation and defence workers to get the shots.
He says there have been calls for Māori aged from 50 rather than 65 to be classed as elderly, because Māori die younger, but there is no need to get hung up on a number.
"Can you imagine standing in a whare and saying 'Can I see your ID? Have you got a gold card? Ki a kite atu he aha o tau? How old are you?' before I can consider giving you the vaccination. That is not what we want. The ability to walk into a whare as a doctor or a GP or a nurse, to be able to assess the whānau and say 'this is what we need to do,' and get on with it. That is the kaupapa for the kind of guidelines we gave," he says.
Mr Henare says the roll out is done in such a way that whānau not only feel comfortable but turn up for their second jabs.
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