August 19, 2021
Media Release: Te ORA Maori Medical Practitioners Association support Māori and Pasifika to be prioritised in COVID-19 vaccination programme
Friday 20 August 2021
Te ORA Māori Medical Practitioners Association support Māori and Pasifika to be prioritised in COVID-19 vaccination programme
The Chair and Board of Te ORA, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association, express faith in the direction that Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā are advocating for this phase of the response to COVID-19.
All these experts and front-line doctors are Te ORA members and we stand by their advice and leadership.
The low rates of vaccination among Māori and Pasifika communities are particuarly concerning and when over-crowded housing, poor access to primary health care, and higher co-morbidity rates are considered, these rates are potentially disasterous.
Te ORA urges whānau Māori to take the lockdown absolutely seriously and to get tested for symptoms or if they have visited ‘locations of interest’.
Te ORA urges local DHB’s to prioritise Māori and Pasifika whānau by:
- Creating maximum opportunities for whānau to be vaccinated together â€“ and opportunistically without bookings
- De-prioritising second vaccination shots and creating more opportunity for increase of those with at least the first shot
- Use versatile pop-up vaccination centres, with whānau friendly facing staff and creating priority for Māori and Pasifika patients â€“ particularly the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Te ORA has faith in the Government’s want to do the right thing by Māori and Pasifika communities â€“ but it urges the Government that ‘fixing’ the present inequity in coverage will take a public declaration of Māori and Pasifika vaccination priority and allocation of serious resource to do this well.
Prof David Tipene-Leach
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