October 28, 2021
Children growing risk in COVID-19 surge
The New Zealand Māori Council says the Government needs to start preparing for the mass vaccination of tamariki for COVID-19.
A US Food and Drug Administration panel has just voted to recommend the Pfizer vaccination be declared safe for 5 to 11-year olds.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday the Ministry of Health was talking with Pfizer about whether New Zealand’s existing vaccine stock could be used for the younger age group.
Māori Council spokesperson Takuta Ferris says if it’s not suitable, the process of getting the right formulation could take months.
He says what’s happening in the United Kingdom, where COVID cases are among children have exploded since schools were reopened in September, is a warning of what could happen here.
“If that plays out across New Zealand, we have already seen Māori have become more than 50 per cent of the new cases in and around Auckland and Waikato and if we move to a more relaxed approach with the traffic light system, then that spread will just continue,” Mr Ferris says.