The Ministry of Health developed the 2020 Māori Influenza Vaccination Programme (MIVP) in response to COVID-19. The programme aimed to increase access to the influenza (flu) vaccine for vulnerable Māori groups entitled to free vaccinations, particularly kaumātua over 65 years. Improving equity for Māori was a core programme objective.
The Māori Influenza Vaccination Programme made a valuable contribution to improving Māori influenza vaccination equity rates.
- NIR recorded significantly higher vaccination rates for Māori than in previous years
- Influenza vaccination rates for Māori 65+ increased from 46 percent in 2019 to 59 percent in 2020. This was significant given the small improvement observed between 2015 and 2019
- The overall influenza equity gap for Māori 65+ reduced in 2020 from -12.1 percent to -8.4 percent.
While some of this improvement will be due to COVID-19, the evidence suggests that the MIVP also contributed.
The evaluation identified three core strategies that made a difference for whānau Māori:
- mobilising services to go into the community
- taking a whānau-centred approach
- focusing on Māori workforce capability and capacity.
Additional strategies include the need to identify and respond to barriers while considering the local context and being diverse in the design and delivery of services.