October 27, 2021
Reti puts time into vax effort
National Party deputy leader Shane Reti says getting the least few per cent of people vaccinated will take the time and tikanga that Māori health services provider.
The former Whangarei GP has been relieved of parliamentary duties for the week so he can stay with Kia Ora Ngāti Wai vaccinating in remote rural areas.
He says the rate in Taitokerau is generally running about 10 per cent below the national rate, with the Māori vax rate another 10 per cent below that.
Vaccine acceptance ranges from the enthusiastic early adopters to the hesitant, to the uncertain but persuadable, to those 11 per cent of people in the region who have already asked that their children be taken off the national immunisation register.
“Even those who were very hesitant, as we sat down and talked we were able to get them over the line. But the talk component does take time. There’s 15 to 20 minutes at least just really understanding what their concerns are and then bringing together the best information to present to them and then respecting whatever opinion they eventually land on. That takes time, not as easy in a busy doctor’s waiting room with 15-minute appointments so there is some privilege and something in the tikanga and style of Maori health providers that makes it conducive to getting people over the line,” Dr Reti says
He says his experience with vaccinating children is helping with the Covid push.