Māori, Pasifika and over-65s next to get Covid jab

By Te Ao - Māori News

New Zealand has gone to weeks without a reported community case of Covid-19. At the same time, it's been announced that almost 13,000 of the 15,000 strong border workforce has been vaccinated. 

So, could New Zealand be out of the woods then?

The next part of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan is for anyone who is over 65 and lives in Counties Manukau - they can get the vaccine from the end of March. With 40,000 doses of the vaccine also set aside for Māori and Pasifika, Associate Minister for Health Peeni Henare shared the plan, with Te Ao Tapatahi this morning, to get those doses to the community.

"They will be issued to key Māori and Pasifika health providers," he says. "Our community providers and our Māori health providers, they know our community. So our job is to support them.

"For example, I've spoken to Te Puia at Te Turuki Healthcare, they're currently administering the vaccine and our job is to support them, build their infrastructure to make sure they roll it out into our community. Once we get this right, we can certainly roll out more."

When asked about where his place is in the queue to get the vaccine, Peeni joked, "Some people call me matua but I'm not quite kaumātua or kuia yet."

Jokes aside, Henare says he is keen to get the vaccine. "I'll wait my turn.

"However, I know that because of my role as defence minister and my exposure to the New Zealand Defence Force, some people had me relatively high on the list, but I'm sure that when it does happen, it'll probably be posted live somewhere."