Unvaccinated Maōri Covid cases ‘steadily increasing’

By Deborah LaHatte

Covid-19 analyst Dr Rawiri Taonui says Māori have done quite well in mortality terms during Omicron.

He told Te Ao Tapatahi today that the mortality figures were a bit difficult to interpret because of the way the Ministry of Health managed them. “But based on the data we have, Māori have done quite well during Omicron.

“We were over 50% of deaths during the Delta wave but we’re only about 14% during Omicron.

Taonui said he had rising concerns that Māori were 50% of all deaths under 60 years of age, which was a “real concern”.

“The other thing is the percentage of unvaccinated Māori both over 12 and under 12 is beginning to increase steadily so we’re 34% of all unvaccinated cases.”

Fourth vaccination

Taonui noted that Australia last week moved to a fourth vaccination for over 65-year-olds and 50-year-olds for indigenous people over 50 together with its influenza vaccines.

The FDA in the US yesterday had approved a fourth vaccine for over 50-year-olds.

Taonui also says a second wave is highly likely. “There are a few reasons - mandates being eased, particularly vaccine passes,  increases in numbers allowed to attend indoor and outdoor events.

“We can also see changes in social behaviour such as people going out for their daily walks not wearing masks.”