September 14, 2022
Community providers ready for immunisation push
The Health Ministry’s top Maori says valuable lessons about running future vaccination campaigns were learned from the Covid-19 effort.
National Party health spokesperson Shane Reti says the third of a billion dollars spent during Covid should have also been used to stand up a permanent immunisation service which could be used for other diseases like measles and hepatitis.
Health deputy directory general John Whaanga says there is such a programme within Te Whatu Ora.
He says there is now a much greater emphasis on whole of community, whole of whanau approaches.
“We’ve got community-based providers who have shown how they can deliver exceptionally in terms of immunisation for Covid and quite a bit of the work both Te Whatu Ora in partnership with Te Aka Whai Ora are doing is looking at how we can build on some of the strengths that have been put in place over the past couple of year,” Mr Whaanga says.
He says the ministry is deeply aware of the consequences of the 2019 measles epidemic which spread into the Pacific, and increasing the low uptake of measles, mumps and rubella immunisation among tamariki Maori is a priority.