News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Cure Kids Issue Open Letter To Prime Minister Urging Prioritisation Of Vulnerable Children For COVID-19 Vaccine

Prioritisation of COVID Vaccinations for Vulnerable Families

Kia Ora Rt. Honourable Jacinda Ardern,

As the largest charitable funder of child health research in New Zealand, Cure Kids urges the Government to prioritise our most vulnerable children for the COVID-19 vaccine.

40,000 children per year are admitted to New Zealand hospitals for completely preventable health issues and this vulnerability means these children are more susceptible to the impact of COVID-19.

Our recent State of Child Health Report launched in Parliament on December 1st, 2020 evidenced that around 35% of acute admissions to hospital for children were due to respiratory infections.

The rate of hospitalisation for respiratory conditions reveals a high degree of inequality varying widely for children in different socioeconomic groups.

We have one of the highest rates of childhood skin infections among resource-rich countries.

In 2019, nearly 3000 children were treated in hospital for serious skin infections – a rate of 4.5 hospitalisations per 1000 children for those children under 5 years.

In addition, our Maori and Pacifica children have a 50 – 120 times greater risk of contracting Rheumatic Fever than their European counterparts, and we know from evidence that cramped damp living conditions are a major driver in these statistics.

Not only are these statistics a national disgrace in themselves, but to continue to expose these vulnerable children to further risk of COVID-19 would be negligent.

In 2020 Cure Kids invested $9million in child health research, with a specific focus on health issues driven by inequity. This investment in 2020 includes the $10m investment over 10 years for a multifactorial collective research effort into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease. We can only resolve these issues of inequity by working together, and on this basis Cure Kids implores this Government to avoid exacerbating the risks for our most vulnerable children, by offering priority vaccine access to the families who already experience the greatest health inequalities.

Signed: Cure Kids' CEO Frances Benge and Board Chair Franceska Banga

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: NZSQ Conclude National Tour With ‘Release’ Programme

The NZSQ concluded their national tour in Wellington with a three-part programme, the triumphant final installment of which was entitled ‘Release.’ It included three pieces representing radical musical innovation... More>>

Howard Davis: The Show Must Go On - ‘La Traviata’ Opening Night Wobbles
Casting problems have beset ‘La Traviata’ since its first performance in March 1853 at Venice’s La Fenice opera house. Sadly, Saturday night’s premiere at Wellington’s newly-restored St James Theatre proved no different... More>>

Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland