August 18, 2021
Lockdown chance for vaccination reset
Health authorities are being challenged to lift their game in vaccinating Māori and Pasifika populations in light of the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland.
David McKree Jansen, the co-chair of Māori pandemic response group Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā, says he wouldn’t be surprised to see this morning’s count of five cases expand to 25 and then 125 in a few days, given the greater infectiousness of the delta variant.
The four new cases this morning are all connected to the 58-year-old Devonport man who tested positive yesterday, and one of them is a hospital nurse.
Dr Jansen says the immediate lockdown was the right thing to do, but when vaccinations resume in a couple of days he wants to see increased focus on Māori and Pasifika, because of the effects the virus will have if it gets loose in those populations.
"Seventy one percent of Māori over the age of 65 in the Auckland region have been vaccinated. The vaccine acceptance is surging. We've got a good programme for them. My concern is we need to reach deeper into our community. It has to get our vaccination numbers and our offer to Māori over the age of 40, that's the area we've really got to get busy on, and our health system has really got to lift its game in the next week or two," he says.
Dr Jansen says if the pandemic is a game of two halves, the foe has upped its game for the second half.
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