Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A racist decision which came back to bite us

When the government was first starting its covid vaccination campaign, public health experts advised them to vaccinate South Auckland first, to protect a particularly vulnerable community living and working on the (then-) frontline. We know the government didn't listen, but now it turns out that they never even considered it:

As vaccination rates for Māori and Pacific peoples in South Auckland continue to lag behind the rest of the city, public health experts are disappointed to learn the government never discussed their advice to prioritise the whole region. Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal no plan was presented to cabinet detailing the need to prioritise vaccination for all South Aucklanders, despite public advice from a range of health experts calling for this approach. Eight months later, Auckland is in its 90th day of lockdown, while vaccination rates in South Auckland particularly among Māori and Pacific peoples, continue to languish behind the rest of the city.
And of course cases are now concentrated in the vulnerable communities early vaccination would have protected.

So why didn't Cabinet do the right thing? It basicly boils down to pandering to racists and a desire to avoid Brash-like squealing if they put the need to Māori and Pasifika-dominated frontline neighbourhoods ahead of rich white old people desperate to shove themselves to front of the queue like always. You have only to look at the outbreak we have now and the growth of a violent antivax movement to how that decision has come back to bite us in the arse.