September 15, 2022
Child vaccination push needed
The chief medical officer for Whatu Ora Counties Manukau is urging parents to ensure their children’s immunisations are up to date.
Dr Andrew Connolly says he shares the concerns of Māori paediatrician and immunologist Owen Sinclair that low rates in the area make the population vulnerable to another measles outbreak.
He says while fighting off Covid has taken a huge amount of time and resource over the past two years, getting the MMR vaccine gives children a better chance of living a longer and healthier life.
“Everybody’s probably a bit tired of jabs but we have these tools available to really prevent nasty diseases. The Covid vaccine helped us avoid bad Covid for most of us, but it didn’t stop us getting it, whereas a lot of the childhood vaccinations actually stop us ever getting these diseases,” Dr Connelly says.
There may be some primary health settings where vaccines haven’t had the attention they deserve, but the health reforms which created Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora – the Maori Health Authority is a chance to encourage the community-driven approaches which have proven successful.