Joint release | Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora
Increasing opportunities for immunisation is the aim of Aotearoa Immunisation Week, a joint initiative by Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, which starts on Monday 29 May and runs to Sunday 4 June.
Dr Nick Chamberlain, National Director, National Public Health Service says, “The week-long, nationwide push aims to drive vaccine uptake ahead of winter with a call for people to get up to date with their vaccinations either at any of the many local events or at their general practice, nearby pharmacies and hauora providers.”
“Winter is coming, and it’s vital whānau have every opportunity to get immunised against flu, COVID-19, measles and whooping cough,” says Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, Chief Medical Officer, Te Aka Whai Ora.
“It is particularly important we protect our pēpi, tamariki, and kaumātua, who are hit hardest by winter illnesses. We’ve also had a recent close call with measles cases in Auckland. Measles is a dangerous illness for babies and small children so now is a very good time to get your whānau up to date with all their immunisations.
“We're working with hauora Māori partners throughout the motu to make vaccination as easy as possible this week with pop-up clinics and community events. Make it a priority to visit your Māori provider, local doctor or pharmacy and protect the people you love.”
Aotearoa Immunisation Week will feature over a thousand immunisation opportunities available at clinics, pharmacies and with GPs throughout the motu include as well as more than 35 community vaccination events.
Some events across the motu include the School Boys’ Rugby event league in Waikato, Kokiri Marae in Upper Hutt, Mobile Immunisation team will host a three-day pop-up vaccine event in Canterbury and Awarua Whānau Services across Southland.
“Immunisation coverage for our youngest members of society continues to be a real concern. We have a national target of 95% of all children being up to date with all their immunisations at 24 months of age by 30 June 2024, says Dr Nick Chamberlain.
“Unfortunately, we are behind where we need to be for tamariki vaccinations, and there’s a significant equity gap for tamariki Māori that we need to reduce urgently. That’s why efforts like Aotearoa Immunisation Week are so important.
“Pleasingly we are seeing progress in some areas, such as the number of people who have had their flu vaccination, which is ahead of last year, but we can’t take this for granted.
“The risk of severe illness this winter is high, so we’re encouraging everyone across the motu to be protected. Please take advantage of the local opportunities available during the week and get yourself and your whānau immunised.”
For more information about Aotearoa Immunisation Week and to find events in your local area go to www.Immunise.Health.nz(external link)