An iwi collective’s Covid-19 campaign to lift Māori vaccination will go out on the front foot with an online information blitz to tackle hesitancy about vaccinating children.
Children aged 5 to 11 years are eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations from Monday.
Te Ranga Tupua iwi collective’s rapid response efforts have focused for the past month on sending its four mobile clinics into the least vaccinated areas of Whanganui, South Taranaki, Rangitīkei and the Waimarino.
But rapid response co-lead Elijah Pue says from Monday an intensive online initiative will provide information, answer questions and respond to concerns about children’s vaccinations.
“We’re going to be over the next two weeks hosting some hui online and some webinars and zooms so that our people can have access to the right information,” Pue said.
“We know already anecdotally that hesitation for paediatric vaccination is much higher than what we’ve experienced before and it’s legitimate.
“Parents are genuinely concerned about vaccinating their children and that’s okay. We just need to ensure that our people have the right information and are talking to the right people so they can answer all those questions that those people might have.”
Pue said the iwi collective will continue to target under-vaccinated hotspots and places where families congregate.
“We’re going to continue our mobile rollout which goes to the hard-to-reach communities, goes to the rural areas, goes to the middle of townships. We’re encouraging whānau vaccinations, which is what we’ve done from the start, going down next to the swimming pool …. We’re going to places where families will go.”
Te Ranga Tupua has been funded by the government for a 15-week drive to improve the uptake of Covid-19 vaccination among Māori in its area. The campaign runs until mid-March.
Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers’ Association and NZ On Air.