Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Māori vaccination milestone

More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced today.

There were 10,145 doses administered – almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera, he said.

The doses are made up of 4,010 first doses and 6,135 second doses. The number of first doses administered to Māori increased by just under 20% in the past three weeks, the Minister (pictured) confirmed.

“There is now real momentum in the Māori vaccination campaign. Right across the country, Māori are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated to protect their whānau and community,” Mr Henare said.

He said Te Arawa Lakes drive-through vaccination clinic is by Māori, for Māori. It has been set up by Korowai Aroha, Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao, Western Heights Health Centre, Manaaki Ora, Te Roopu Hauora o Te Arawa with support from Lakes DHB. The staff understand their communities concerns and are more than willing to take the time to discuss questions and provide the information they require, the Minister said.

During a road trip around the motu, Mr Henare heard from Māori vaccinators and volunteers at the drive-through clinic who say they are using whakapapa to connect to whānau, putting them at ease and offering a hangi once they are finished topped off the experience.

“Our kaumātua are leading the way, with 91% of those aged 65 and over having had their first dose and 81% fully vaccinated. And I know our elders are now encouraging our rangatahi to get vaccinated too.”

“We’re also seeing big increases in Tāmaki Makaurau, with 65.3% of Māori having had their first dose, that’s up from 52.8% three weeks ago.

“There is still a lot more to do to get our vaccine rates up, but across the motu I am seeing Māori health providers, iwi and local communities doing the work to increase our vaccination rates,” Minister Henare said.

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