September 20, 2021
Unvaccinated children puts onus on adults
A member of Māori pandemic response group Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā says getting vacated is the best way for now to protect your tamariki.
Invercargill GP and University of Otago Associate Professor Sue Crengle says medical authorities are waiting for the results of overseas trials before they authorise the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children under 12.
That’s an issue for Māori, as such a large proportion of the Māori population is in that age group.
She says children are getting the delta strain, and although the effects aren’t usually as bad as with adults, they could be spreading the virus to other whānau members without realising they have it.
“At Urutā we are really confident the vaccine is really effective it’s very safe and it is much safer than if we got Covid itself. So we really encourage anyone who hasn’t got the vaccine yet to do that. You can go as a whānau group. It’s completely free. There are vaccine clinics where you can just turn up, you don’t need an appointment, and there are drive though clinics where you can just drive through,” Dr Crengle says.
She says while Māori providers are doing a great job of vaccinating their communities, extra resources need to be put in to bring the rate up to that of non-Māori.