Our immunisation disaster

Data from Ministry of Health.

In 2009 our immunisation rates for two year olds was terrible. One in five two year olds were not vaccinated and one in four Maori two year olds not vaccinated.

Setting clear targets of 95% fully vaccinated, backed by effective leadership was both rates rise to almost 95% by 2012 and stay between 90% and 95% for five years. The Maori rate even exceeded the overall rate briefly. This mean only around one in 20 kids were unvaccinated.

Today once again almost one in five kids are not fully vaccinated, but it is even worse for Maori two year olds with one in three not fully vaccinated. This will have devastating impacts down the road.

The Government talks and talks and talks about wanting to improve health outcomes for Maori and sets up all sorts of boards and committees and working groups, but the actual outcomes are heading into disaster territory.

There is an obvious huge lack of trust now with many Maori parents in vaccinations. This is something that will be hard to solve. It will require leadership at the local level, not just centrally.

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