February 08, 2022
Māori factor in booster change
The Director-General of Health says the need to get more Māori boosted was one of the reasons for shortening the gap from the second Covid-19 vaccination.
The gap for the booster shot has gone from four to three months, meaning an additional 100,000 Māori are now eligible.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield acknowledged there were calls from groups such as Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā to shorten the wait time, but says he acted on the advice from the Government’s Pandemic Expert Advisory Group.
“This was I know one of the key issues that our technical advisory group took into account and a number of the members of that group are Māori and provided very strong advice about that shorter interval, in particular because quite a proportion of Māori did not complete their primary course until later last year, so we wanted to bring forward their boosters,” he says.
Dr Bloomfield rejected calls for a tamariki Māori vaccine taskforce, despite Health Ministry data showing Māori aged 5 to 11 are getting their shots at half the rate of non-Māori.