Covid-19: 80% eligible Māori now fully vaccinated

Source: 1News

Eighty per cent of Māori aged 12 and over around the country are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

A person administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Ministry of Health figures show the milestone was reached on Sunday.

Just under 60,000 people — largely Māori under 35 — need to get their second jabs for the group’s eligible population nationwide to get to 90 per cent.

The first jab rate among Māori is also on the rise and is at 87 per cent. About 15,000 first doses remain for that rate to reach 90 per cent.

Seven of the country’s 12 DHBs are at 90 per cent or above for first doses among eligible Māori.

That is in contrast to rates for all ethnicities, where all DHBs but Northland have surpassed the 90 per cent threshold for first doses.

Last week, the Waitangi Tribunal found the Government’s Covid-19 response had actively breached the Treaty, and that “Māori were put at a disproportionate risk of being infected by Delta” than other groups.

The Waitangi Tribunal report, Haumaru: The Covid-19 Priority Report, was especially critical of the Government for not prioritising Māori at the start of the vaccination programme.

That’s despite the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield’s advice to the Government to prioritise Māori 50 years and over in the vaccine rollout.

Health experts continue to warn Māori vaccination rates are still dangerously low, especially with the Omicron variant at the border.

Māori and Pasifika are overrepresented in Covid-19-related hospitalisations in Auckland and Northland.

Getting vaccinated for Covid-19 reduces someone’s risk of contracting the virus in the first place, or experiencing it severely.