Vaccines saved thousands of lives during Omicorn

A recent study highlighted the significant impact of Covid-19 vaccines in New Zealand, notably reducing deaths and hospitalisations during the Omicron phase.

Published in Vaccine, the research estimates vaccines averted 4,000 to 12,000 deaths and 34,000 to 56,000 hospitalisations within 18 months from January 2022.

However, among the highlighted outcomes were the disparities in health outcomes for Māori.

The study pointed out that if Māori vaccination rates had matched those of Pākehā, up to 75 of the 292 Māori deaths could have been prevented.

Professor Michael Plank, a co-author and Covid-19 researcher, emphasised the importance of ensuring equal vaccination rates among Māori and non-Māori to save lives and lessen the pandemic’s toll on Māori communities.

The authors say the Covid-19 elimination strategy meant most people were able to be vaccinated before being exposed to the virus.

New Zealand’s early elimination strategy allowed widespread vaccination before widespread virus exposure, contributing to one of the lowest pandemic mortality rates globally.

This research reinforces the crucial role of vaccines in protecting health while also calling attention to the need for equitable health strategies in Aotearoa.


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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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