March 14, 2022
Vaccine roll-out created barriers for Māori
A Waikato University study has confirmed priority groups including Māori and Pasifika had the worst access to Covid vaccines.
The study published in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal found just 6 per cent of vaccination services nationally appeared to be iwi led or run by Māori or Pacific providers, with GP clinics, pharmacies, and DHB-run dedicated vaccination centres accounting for the rest.
Lead author Dr Jesse Whitehead says the rollout failed M`sori on a lot of different fronts.
“The age sequencing plan was one thing that held back a large proportion of the Māori population which is a lot younger than the New Zealand European population. The messaging was not targeted to Māori and this study shows the locations where the vaccinations were available disproportionately placed additional barriers on Māori,” he says.
Dr Whitehead says DHB-led responses aren’t working for Māori, and the new Māori Health Authority should look at a new system for future pandemics and child immunization generally.