Opportunities for Primary Care action to improve immunisation of pēpi Māori
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pressure on immunisation services. Due to system failures, Pēpi Māori experience low (and late) immunisation compared with other children, which exposes them to risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Pēpi Māori who are not enrolled with primary healthcare services are less likely to receive their 6-week immunisations on time and are delayed in their protection from diseases.
Dr Samantha Marsh and Dr Amber Young will partner with Māori public health organisation Hāpai te Hauora to focus on whānau with whom general practice have not engaged in enrolment and care, in a targeted strategy to achieve better immunisation rates through better connection with primary care. They will engage with healthcare workers and whānau, whose pēpi were not yet enrolled within 7 weeks after birth, to understand their experiences to ensure that whānau receive vital support and information to help them care for their newborn babies.
The study should inform decisions, policies, and practices for the health sector, and offer new strategies to address equity gaps. The potential impact of this research is to benefit whānau and communities by identifying primary care actions which will support timely immunisation, and protection of Māori children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
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