Māori and Pasifika must be given equality of access to vaccination clinics.
Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency CEO John Tamihere said this is the solution to lift the poornumbers of Māori being vaccinated and informs that as of tomorrow all Whānau Ora vaccinationproviders will institute this policy.
The present system on the numbers (see attachment) works well for middle class Asian and White New Zealanders that can participate at will in not only making appointments, but also having the resources to stay in queues at drive-throughs or walk-ins.
“But we need to ensure equality of access. The only way to achieve that is to have a no bookingapproach for Māori and Pasifika Peoples. All vaccination centres have excess capacity to cater forthis demand if it eventuates,’ Tamihere said.
He said the proof was in the data.
“For example, Tāmaki Makaurau Whānau Ora Partner – Te Whānau o Waipareira. As at today’s date we have vaccinated 57,401 Kiwis. Out of that number, we have vaccinated less than 3000 Māori,’Tamihere said.
“We are delighted to have served all other communities over this difficult time, but I am sure thosecommunities will now accept that their fellow Māori citizens should not have any impediments in being vaccinated on an ‘as and when required basis’.”
Tamihere said vaccination centres have the capacity to scale up operations.
“We are fully aware that numbers directed to vaccination centres by the Ministry of Health in no way meet the full capacity of each vaccination centre. For example at our Catherine Street, West Auckland Waipareira vaccination centre, we can average between 650 and 750 booked appointments. We, on average, vaccinate over 1000 at this centre. On average up to 100 people donot show for their appointments per day,’ he said.
“At the Trust Stadium on Central Park, appointments for 850 people are made and and we havevaccinated on one day there, a maximum of 1782. As a consequence all vaccination centres havecapacity for those without appointments. No one has informed Māori of this right to vaccine without an appointment.”
“As of Saturday 4 September 2021 we will be running a social media campaign targeting large Māori populations through kura/schools, sports clubs, Māori electoral rolls and a large number of ourhealth and social services databases to express their right to arrive at the closest vaccination centre
to their place of residence. Tāmaki Makaurau should be targeted positively with vaccination supply,should there be any difficulty experienced by the national supply chain”.
The Whānau Ora Collectives also agreed that Tāmaki Makaurau should be targeted positively with vaccination supply, should there be any difficulty experienced by the national supply chain. The didthis because they are aware that the major area of weakness in our border control is through TāmakiMakaurau given it is the economic hub of Aotearoa.