The latest national childhood immunisation rates for the period 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2023 released today show improved coverage rates in some areas, but highlight the continued challenge of low vaccination rates for tamariki.
The latest statistics published on the Ministry of Health website show a 2.5 percentage point increase for tamariki Māori at the 24-month milestone age, while at the five-year milestone ages for Pacific children there has been a 3.3 percentage point increase compared to the previous quarter. A slight increase across the 24-month and five-year milestone ages for tamariki of all ethnicities was also recorded.
While there is some progress highlighted in the most recent data, overall national immunisation rates for children continue to track below Te Whatu Ora’s goal of 95 percent of eligible tamariki being fully immunised for their age (as per the National Immunisation Schedule) at the key milestone ages of eight months, 24 months, and five years.
Te Whatu Ora’s Interim Director Prevention Astrid Koornneef says the Programme is actively working closely with the rest of the health sector, iwi and hapū, and community organisations, to ensure tamariki can grow up without the risk of serious illness from preventable disease.
“There are some positive signs in some areas, and these are welcome, but we have some way to go to meet our goal of 95 percent of tamariki immunised,” says Koornneef.
“A key part of our work is to deliver on the recommendations of the 54 recommendations of the Immunisation Taskforce, many of which are already underway, including a comprehensive programme of promotions, the replacement of the National Immunisation Register with the Aotearoa Immunisation Register (AIR) and a temporary increase in the administration fee for all childhood immunisations for primary care.”
This quarter’s statistics are available here.