March 24, 2022
No let up in vax campaign despite restrictions easing
With Aotearoa moving to a new phase of its Omicron response, the Health Ministry is keeping a close watch on Māori vaccination rates.
While the Māori second dose rate of 88 per cent isn’t far off the overall rate of 95 per cent, just 58 per cent have been boosted compared to 72 per cent of all New Zealanders.
The contrast is even more stark when it comes to 5 to 11 years olds, where just 35 per cent of tamariki Māori have received their first dose compared with the overall rate of 55 per cent.
John Whaanga, the ministry’s deputy Director-General Māori, says they’re playing catch up.
“There’s a lot of good work being done in regions, working with kura and schools who are keen to be involved in vaccination campaigns. Some of the regional activities in places like Gisborne for instance, drive through vaccinations are getting a good result, but it is going to take persistent work from us over some time, particularly our paediatric roll out,” he says.
The ministry is working with the Schools Trustees Association to get vaccinations into schools.