January 25, 2022
Rollout inequalities threaten Māori lives
Māori Covid data analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui is urging the Government to appoint a vaccination monitoring group for tamariki before it’s too late.
Preliminary data from Auckland’s five to 11-year-old vaccination rollout shows tamariki Māori numbers at 50 per cent of those for non-Māori and Pacific children.
Dr Taonui says Māori and other health providers have made a magnificent effort closing the vaccination gap from 23.2 per cent in mid-September to 10.3 per cent.
However, this still leaves 17.6 per cent of Māori aged over 12 unvaccinated and particularly vulnerable to the hyper-infectious Omicron variant.
On last Sunday’s numbers, Māori uptake of boosters at 18.9 per cent of the eligible over-18 population is also well behind the national average of 27 per cent.
The 105,000 Māori who’ve been vaccinated since 1 November will also not qualify for the booster shot until 1 March or later.
Dr Taonui says this is too late to avoid the devastation of Māori communities by Omicron and the Government must shorten the qualifying period to three months immediately.