Unvaccinated make up 80.5% of Māori cases - Dr Rawiri Taonui

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

Māori were 37 (412.6%) of 89 new cases announced today. Māori are the highest number of daily cases for the 36th consecutive day.

The following chart shows the 694 Māori cases reported since the beginning of the Delta outbreak to  October 20. This shows:

  • 559 (80.5%) are unvaccinated.
  • 118 (17%) are partially vaccinated, either having just one dose or two doses but within three weeks of receiving the second vaccine, which is not enough time for it to give maximum protection.
  • Just 17 (2.4%) are fully vaccinated.

Protection from infection

These numbers translate into the following:

  • The unvaccinated have no protection.
  • Partially vaccinated Māori have 83% protection against becoming infected.
  • Fully vaccinated Māori have 96.4% protection against becoming infected.
  • Unvaccinated Māori are five times more likely to become infected with Delta than partially vaccinated Māori.
  • Unvaccinated Māori are 33 times more likely to become infected with Delta than fully vaccinated Māori.

I do not yet have the figures for unvaccinated and vaccinated Māori who have been hospitalised. We do have the overall numbers for the Delta outbreak. These show that:

  • An unvaccinated person who becomes infected is 15 times more likely to be hospitalised than a partially vaccinated person.
  • An unvaccinated person who becomes infected is 59 times more likely to require hospitalisation than a fully vaccinated person.
  • A partially vaccinated person who becomes infected has 79.9% protection against becoming hospitalised.
  • A fully vaccinated person has 98.7% protection against becoming hospitalised.

The importance of early vaccination

The key message here is to get vaccinated. The proportion of partially vaccinated becoming infected and being hospitalised will relate to the late Māori uptake of the Pfizer vaccination.

This is not our fault; the vaccine rollout was discriminatory and poorly led by the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards.

However, we do now have the facts in front of us and the clear message is to get vaccinated now not later. This is the best way to protect your whakapapa and whānau. Be remembered as the ancestor who made a good decision.

Noho haumaru, stay safe.

Dr Rawiri Taonui