Surge in Māori vaccinations across the motu

By Contributor
By Māori Covid-19 Analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui, in partnership with Te Ao Māori News.

International Update

Omicron continues to spread across the globe. New Covid-19 cases have topped 1 million three times in the last five days.

A revised toral for 29 December is 1.626 million which far exceeds the previous highest total of 904,000 on 29 April.

New Cases

There were 60 new community cases yesterday in nine District Health Boards (DHBs), Northland (1), Auckland (1), Waitematā (2), Manukau (17), Waikato (28), Bay of Plenty (8), Lakes (1), Te Tai Rāwhiti (1) and Canterbury (1).

There were 14 new Māori cases, the first time since 9 September Māori are neither the highest nor second-highest daily cases. This is a tribute to the continuing vigilance of our communities and leaders and the work of Whānau Ora, the Iwi leaders Forum Pandemic Response Group, Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā and Māori Health providers despite continuing lower Māori vaccination rates. Consequently, while Māori continue to dominate total cases, hospitalisations, and deaths, we are no longer the highest number of active cases in the community.

Cases by Ethnicity - 21122021

Risk of Omicron OutBreak

There have now been two cases of Omicron in the community. With over 100 contacts there is an imminent risk of a larger Omicron OutBreak.

The number of cases crossing the border into Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) is increasing. Of these 78 have been Omicron Cases. Data informs that most of the breaches from MIQ last year and earlier this year occurred when were we were managing more than 30 active cases in MIQ. Yesterday, there were 98 active cases in MIQ. Even if the public health service manages the current community Omicron cases and their contacts successfully, an Omicron community outbreak is certain by the end of January.

Māori Vaccination

The uptake of Māori vaccinations has increased considerably over the last two months. We are however still behind the national average.

Vaccination by ethnicity - 21122021

Māori remain vulnerable in seven DHBs (Lakes, Waikato, Manukau, Te Tai Rāwhiti, Whanganui, Bay of Plenty and Northland) where total single dose or double dose vaccinations remain below 80%.

Moreover, contrary to government and Ministry of Health press releases there are no Māori DHBs with over 90% vaccination.

Māori in 14 DHBs remain below 80% fully vaccinated and in two DHBs, Northland and the Bay of Plenty, below 70% fully vaccinated.

Māori vaccination by DHB

Greetings

This is my 647th consecutive day recording Covid-19 numbers. Wishing everyone the best over the break. Ko te hiahia ka piki te oranganui me te rangimarie ki runga i a koutou me o koutou whānau kia noho haumaru koutou, stay safe.

Dr Rawiri Taonui