Covid-19: Maori healthcare providers continue to push for 95% vaccination target

Tui Ora and other Maori health providers have seen good uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine.

VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff

Tui Ora and other Maori health providers have seen good uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Taranaki Maori health providers continue to aim for 95% of Taranaki Maori to be triple immunized.

“The last few weeks have seen very good absorption of the doses, of the first, second, tamariki booster vaccination,” said Tamara Ruakere, the general manager of Tui Ora whānau ora.

On Sunday, the latest figures from the Department of Health showed that 14,217 Taranaki Maori had received the first vaccine and 13,378 the second.

While the 95% target is ambitious, “it’s really nice to see that the Taranaki Māori were almost 90% for the first dose and 84% for the second dose, so we’re happy with that,” said Ruakere.

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At a Hui in October, Maori leaders told Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare that they had lost faith in Taranaki’s DHB, but Ruakere said the way everyone now works together and pulled together was much more collaborative.

”Collaboration is the key. We all work together or are on the same page and in this waka together. I think this is going to make a huge difference in supporting our whānau and region as omicron comes to Taranaki.

They weren’t worried, Ruakere said.

“We’ve had a bit more time to prepare here and our (vaccination) clinics have been very busy. We all accepted that. Everything we’ve done has prepared us for this moment.”

The few Covid cases in Taranaki late last year gave them an opportunity to test their practices and refine them, she says.

Together with other agencies, they have put together a brochure, including what people need in their isolation kit, which they have started distributing to help people prepare for Covid.

She said a team meeting took place at the end of last week, “and while I wouldn’t say it was relaxed, there was a sense of control”.

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