New Māori cases decline while vaccination increases - Dr Rawiri Taonui

By Māori health researcher Dr Rawiri Taonui, in partnership with Te Ao Māori News

Daily Briefing

There are 1,131 cases in the Delta OutBreak. Friday’s daily Delta OutBreak briefing delivered elements of positive news.

The Ministry of Health announced nine new cases, the first single-digit day (under 10 cases) since Day 2 of the outbreak on 18 August. We need to see more of the same and zero days to assure the community that Delta is under control and Auckland can move to Level 2.

Seventeen of 23 clusters and sub-cluster are dormant or closed. Contact numbers have reduced from over 38,000 to 1,053 of which 93% have been tested. There are 903 recovered cases, leaving just 128 active cases in the outbreak. There are 14 unlinked cases and four unlinked clusters. While this could disrupt progress to elimination, widespread testing is underway to find potential undetected chains of transmission.

Māori and Pacific Peoples make up 88.9% of all new cases over the last fortnight. Earlier this week, the total number of new Māori cases threatened to dominate the long tail of Covid-19. Yesterday, there were no new Māori cases for the first time in 15 days. The Māori community is not yet beyond the shadow of Delta, but the trend over the last few days is positive.

In other positive news, 48.7% of Māori have had at least one vaccine. The overall New Zealand rate is 74.5%. Comparing these two figures, we can say that in late-August early September, the Māori rate was just over half the national rate (0.52). The Māori rate for at least one vaccine is now about two-thirds of the national rate (0.66).

In terms of two doses, 24.2% of Māori are fully vaccinated compared to the national figure of 37.9%. The number of Māori fully vaccinated compared to the national total has also risen, again to about two-thirds (0.64) of the national rate.

While the gap to achieve Māori 90% fully vaccinated remains wide, the rate of Māori vaccination is fastest rising. Between 15 and 24 September, the number of Māori receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rose by 3.9%, the highest of the four main ethnic groupings.

While these figures are positive, there are still risks. Any surge in Delta will impact our community.

Noho haumaru, stay safe.

Dr Rawiri Taonui