August 19, 2021
Delta surge means new vaccination plan needed
Māori pandemic response group Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā says the delta COVID-19 outbreak means it’s time to change the vaccination programme to give priority to Māori and Pasifika.
Co-leader Paparangi Reid says Māori and Pasifika communities are now in serious peril because of low vaccination rates – much of that due to the Government’s failure to understand and implement a vaccination programme that best meets the Māori and Pasifika population profiles.
She says the Government’s constant one-size-fits-all approach now places Māori and Pasifika right in the pathway of COVID-19.
Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā want the programme to first focus on kaumātua and elderly, people with long term health conditions and hapū mama and their whānau who are currently unvaccinated.
Once there is good coverage of people who fit these profiles, the programme should then extend to all Māori and Pasifika.
Professor Reid says the best and safest approach now is to pause second doses to ensure those who have not received a vaccination get at least some coverage.
The group also slammed the Health Ministry’s failure to collect ethnicity data about vaccinations, which has meant the extent of unvaccinated Māori has been hidden.
It says the complex booking system has failed Māori and Pasifika and wants other approaches, such as the publication of maps showing people where they can get their shots.
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