10 Aug 2009

Maori parents not to blame for lower vaccinations

3:49 pm on 10 August 2009

The head of the Maori Medical Practitioners Association says Maori parents cannot be blamed for their tamariki not getting vaccinations.

Public health specialists are concerned that low immunisation rates are fuelling a measles epidemic in Christchurch and Auckland.

Waatea News reports that only about 80% of children are vaccinated by the time they get to school, and the take-up by Maori is up to 15% lower than that.

Dr Jansen says the solution lies in improving the way medical professionals interact with Maori, and in Maori feeling entitled to an adequate health system.