Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu adds its voice to the call for the Ministry of Health to release Māori vaccine data to its North Island counterpart, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency. Pouārahi Helen Leahy says that this data would prove invaluable in driving up Māori vaccination rates in the areas where Delta is particularly rampant at this time.
“There is simply no time to waste in giving this data to our colleagues in Tāmaki Makaurau – data that directly affects their ability to target pockets of unvaccinated Māori,” says Ms Leahy. “Due to an inequitable vaccine rollout, Māori are now playing catch up with the rest of the population, all while carrying a disproportionate risk.”
Last week, Māori became the most numerically impacted population, and have had the highest number of daily cases for 37 consecutive days. Vaccination rates for Māori continue to lag behind those of the general population, with only 75 percent of Māori having had their first dose and 57 percent fully vaccinated. This is compared to 89 percent of the total population having had their first dose, and 79 percent fully vaccinated.
The data that has been requested from the Ministry of Health would enable the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency to call, text or email Māori who are unvaccinated to discuss their hesitations and make sure they have access to the information they need. Individual providers would similarly be able to target suburbs and streets with low vaccination rates with leaflet drops and mobile clinics.
Ms Leahy says that this would be in keeping with the ‘by Māori, for Māori’ approach at the heart of Whānau Ora – an approach that has been invaluable in the vaccine rollout to date.
Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu acknowledges the incredible work of the North Island Whānau Ora network, particularly those in Tāmaki Makaurau, Waikato and Te Tai Tokerau who have been at the frontline of the Delta outbreak.
“This is a network of kaimahi and providers who are determined to see Māori vaccination rates go up, and case numbers go down,” says Ms Leahy. “Here at Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu we stand in full support of their request to access the data that will help them to achieve this.”