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Protecting hapū māmā and pēpi from vaccine preventable diseases

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Amber Young
Dr Esther Willing
Dr Matthew Hobbs
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Maternal immunisation against pertussis and influenza protects hapu māmā and pēpi from infection and potentially fatal outcomes. The safety and efficacy of these vaccines are well documented. However, immunisation coverage in Aotearoa is insufficient, with less than half of the pregnant population immunised. Furthermore, there are significant inequities in coverage, with wahine Māori having lower coverage rates than other ethnicities, putting Māori māmā and their pēpi at higher risk from vaccine-preventable diseases. Barriers to maternal immunisation include costs to access services, mistrust of health systems and lack of appropriate information. We will identify and develop interventions to overcome these barriers and improve vaccination uptake for hapu māmā within localities that have significant inequities. We will engage with key stakeholders in these localities including immunisation coordinators, midwives, GPs, pharmacists, Iwi, and community representatives to prioritise interventions to address the specific needs of Māori whānau to improve maternal immunisation coverage across Aotearoa.