July 11, 2022
Added services key to vaccine effort
Health authorities are looking for ways to boost child immunisation rates.
Dr Nikki Turner, the medical director of Auckland University’s Immunisation Advisory Centre, says rates peaked in 2018 – after years of effort.
The focus on Covid means they have slipped back – as they have around the world.
She says people are tired of vaccinations, and misinformation on social media is amplifying what is already a mistrust of government agencies by many whanau Māori.
Covid has revealed how health services need to be more open and responsive if they are to be effective.
“A lot of our whanau have got a heap of other pressure on them and they are not just going to come forward and get their vaccines so reaching out with services they know and trust, really works for Māori whanau and it really works for Pasifika as well. Those are models we do need to take forward. They require a lot of effort. They require a lot of resourcing. They require a lot of community engagement and support,” she says.
Dr Turner says child immunisation programmes need long-term sustainable resourcing to succeed.