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Rates of Māori & Pasifika vaccination improving, but still more to be done says ProCare

The percentage of Māori and Pasifika who have received a first does of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination has increased significantly over the last few weeks, but there is still more to do to reach vaccination equity according to ProCare, New Zealand’s largest network of primary healthcare professionals.

Bindi Norwell, Group CEO at ProCare says: "Since 25 August, the percentage of Māori who have received a first dose of their vaccination has increased by 11.9 percentage points and for Pasifika this has increased by 14.0 percentage points. However, for Asian and ‘other’ the increase has been 19.2 and 17.3 percentage points respectively.

"While it’s great news to see the rates slowly lifting, but it is imperative that we get the rates of Māori and Pasifika vaccinations to increase at a greater pace," she continues.

It’s also imperative that we do this in a culturally appropriate way.

"ProCare has been working closely with a number of Pasifika churches, Kura and Marae to ensure we can provide support where it is needed, but there is still a lot of misinformation out there," continues Norwell.

Mihi Blair, ProCare’s Kaiwhakahaere Māori says: "We need to really encourage our rangitahi (young people) across Aotearoa to step up and accept the wero (challenge) of the vaccine.

"It is exciting to see kura kaupapa such as Te Kura o Hoani Waititi Marae starting the korero with their tauira (students) and their whānau to determine how they tackle COVID-19 in a collective approach so not only to protect themselves, but for the health and protection of their wider whānau.

"We don’t want history to repeat itself and see higher number of Māori or Pacifika significantly affected by a disease they can protect themselves against with a simple vaccine," continues Blair.

"There are now a number of vaccine sites that uphold the tikanga and the mana of those receiving a vaccine, so we would encourage people to visit the healthpoint website to find out where they can go to receive a vaccine in a more culturally supportive environment," she concludes.

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