Sunday, October 17, 2021

East Christchurch and Waimakariri lag behind in Covid vaccination roll-out

Christchurch’s poorest suburbs and areas of Waimakariri are among the lowest vaccinated against Covid-19, with new data revealing a clear disparity between lower and higher socio-economic areas.

The Ministry of Health released national statistics on Thursday that showed parts of east Christchurch were up to 36 per cent behind the city;s highest vaccinated suburb of Fendalton.

Aranui feared the worst, with nearly half the population yet to get their first dose, well below the national average of 77.9 per cent.

About 55 per cent of Aranui residents have received their first dose and 29.8 per cent are double jabbed.

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Avonside was the second lowest, with 63.2 per cent vaccinated once and 32.4 per fully vaccinated.

Rural areas also came up poorly. Ashley Gorge is the third lowest vaccinated area in Canterbury with only 64.2 per cent of residents vaccinated once and 39 per cent double dosed.

Other areas among the 20 lowest include Bexley, Rawhiti, Woolston West, Wainoni, Kaiapoi West and Okuku.

The data shows high vaccination rates in affluent suburbs of Christchurch and satellite towns of Canterbury. Fendalton leads the way with 91.9 per cent having received their first jab and 55.2 per cent their second. West Melton followed on 91.2 per cent and 51.9 per cent respectively, and Regents Park in Redwood 90.5 per cent and 64.8 per cent.

Other areas that feature highly include Holmwood, Ilam North, Wigram North, Lincoln East, Ilam University, Cashmere West and Tai Tapu.

Across Canterbury, about 59 per cent of suburbs have a first dose uptake above the national average of 77.9 per cent.

Nationally, Murupara in Bay of Plenty has the lowest vaccination rate – 32.6 per cent of the population has received one dose and only 16.1 per cent are fully vaccinated. In the South Island, the West Coast’s Lake Brunner area has the highest number of unvaccinated residents, with less only 47 per cent jabbed once.

“It’s definitely not an ideal scenario,” Waikura Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board chairman Alexandra Davids said.

There had been issues with accessibility in some low socio-economic areas of east Christchurch, but several ideas were being floated to improve the situation, she said, including transporting people to vaccination centres.

Maui Clinic Administration coordinator, Shanna Taula contacts East Christchurch residents to get them to come in for a Covid-19 vaccination in late September. (File photo)

CHRIS SKELTON/Stuff

Maui Clinic Administration coordinator, Shanna Taula contacts East Christchurch residents to get them to come in for a Covid-19 vaccination in late September. (File photo)

Schools and churches were also being looked at as possible venues.

Davids said the board had been working with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) to help improve vaccination rates.

It was now focused on Super Saturday – October 16 – a national push to get more people vaccinated. Davids said the board was considering turning it into a family day that could include kai, spot prizes and other incentives.

Te reo advocate Anton Matthews was not surprised at east Christchurch’s low vaccination rates, saying many Māori he had spoken to did not respond to the Government telling them they should get vaccinated because of their cultural belief in tino rangatiratanga or self-determination.

Almost 30 per cent of Aranui residents (the suburb with the lowest rate of vaccination in Canterbury) categorised themselves as Māori in the 2018 census.

Matthews said the vaccine roll-out was not created and run by Māori for Māori, which was why it hadn’t been successful. It was not too late to change that though.

He believed money should be given to Whānau Ora providers, which could then distribute the vaccine to the community in a personalised way.

“We will do it in your backyard, so you feel the manaakitanga.”

Other barriers included difficulty getting to vaccine centres and complacency among young Māori who did not see themselves as being at risk.

The new drive-through vaccination centre at Christchurch Arena on Monday.

ALDEN WILLIAMS/Stuff

The new drive-through vaccination centre at Christchurch Arena on Monday.

“They see it as an old person’s problem.”

In an effort to attract non-vaccinated east Christchurch residents, Matthews planned to give out free kai from his Fush food truck at Wainoni marae from 10am to 3pm on Saturday.

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey blamed the district’s poor vaccination rates on the inability to get appointments.

He had been inundated with calls from frustrated residents unable to get a timely appointment.

Doocey questioned why North Cantabrians shouldn’t expect the same access to clinics as those who lived in large urban areas.

“It’s a kick in the guts to people who live outside Christchurch city to be told there’s plenty of appointments available in town.”

Doocey called on the CDHB to provide more pop-up and mobile vaccination clinics across Canterbury on Super Saturday.

Waiamakariri mayor Dan Brown declined to comment on the statistics until he had time to digest them, but said he thought the Super Saturday campaign was a “great idea”.

“I’m sure Waimakariri will get right behind it.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is right behind Super Saturday.

CHRIS SKELTON/Stuff

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is right behind Super Saturday.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel urged people to get double jabbed before Christmas if they want to share the festivities with loved ones.

“I’m getting right behind the Super Saturday campaign.”

Christchurch East MP Poto Williams was approached for comment.

This article first show on www.stuff.co.nz Source link Author NADINE PORTER AND STEVEN WALTON on date 2021-10-07 08:00:00

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