August 03, 2021
Age risk ignored in vaccine plan
A Māori public health expert says the Covid vaccination roll out fails to take account of who would be most at risk if Covid-19 gets back out into the community.
Dr Rhys Jones says that’s Māori and Pasifika people, but so far only 8.5 percent of Māori are vaccinated compared with 14 percent of Pākehā.
That’s because the age-band structure of the vaccination programme has privileged Pākehā – and was done against the advice of Māori who wanted younger Māori and Pasifka vaccinated earlier.
"An 80-year old Pākehā person with no other health problems is at the same level or risk as roughly a 59-year old Māori person or a 55-year old Pacific person. There are massive differences in risk according to age so it doesn't make sense to have a one-size-fits-all criteria for the vaccine roll out," Dr Jones says.
Dr Jones says if Māori do get Covid, modelling by complex systems research centre Te Pūnaha Matatini suggests they are 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalised.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com