May 12, 2021
Maori priority would simplify vaccine plan
The co-chair of the Māori pandemic response group Te Whakakaupapa Urutā thinks more to be done to ensure Māori will get vaccinated.
Dr Rawiri Jansen, who quit the government’s expert immunisation advisory group because he felt his voice wasn’t being heard, expects the campaign will ramp up rapidly from now as primary care practices start issuing jabs.
But he says the guidelines still don’t reflect what Māori practitioners have learned about delivering public health to their people.
"This staged way of having tiers 1, 2, 3 and groups, this age group, those ones with health conditions – let's just reorganise that to say the Maori population is the most vulnerable population in the country and our vaccination programme is going to reach that population first. That's what we need in terms of a vaccination programme," Dr Jansen says.
A target to have 90 per cent of the Maori population vaccinated before the end of the year is achievable, but he doesn’t want to see the country’s borders opened up until 70 per cent of the whole population is immunised.
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