February 16, 2022
Equity teams push DHBs to up tamariki vax rate
The Deputy Director-General for Māori health says the Health Ministry is stepping up efforts to increase the vaccination rate of tamariki Māori.
So far 26 per cent of Māori aged 5 to 11 have had the first shot, compared with an overall rate of 45 per cent.
John Whaanga says a lot of the focus of the Covid vaccination campaign so far has been on adults, and different settings are needed for tamariki and their whānau to feel comfortable.
“There’s a lot of work we’re doing there. We’ve got an equity team working with each DHB to make sure they’re focused on tamariki Māori vaccinations and also in the ministry we’re engaged with a number of providers directly providing advice to us so we’re looking for every opportunity to push hard but it’s proving difficult,” he says.
Extra money has been made available for Māori health providers, but there are long-standing shortages of capacity in many rural areas so the ministry is working to move resources to where they are needed.