Ministry of Health figures from January shows people accessing mental health and addition services have full vaccination rates lower than people in the general population. With people that access addiction support services have Covid-19 vaccination rates 19 percent lower than the general population, and mental health service users have rates 9 percent lower than the general population.
Wano says some people accessing those services were being left behind in the rollout. He warns that the same mistakes could not be repeated and this time around, a community-centred approach was the way forward.
“People who use mental health and addiction services are more likely to be exposed to the virus and, if exposed, are more likely to become seriously unwell”.
“We cannot speak highly enough about the targeted efforts of Māori and Pacific community providers as well as other service providers and churches, who have contributed to a huge turnaround in rates of vaccination for Māori and Pacific communities,” he said.
“This is the kind of targeted approach that is needed to ensure that people who experience mental distress and those who experience addictions have equitable and timely access to the vaccination.
“These groups require active engagement and, in many cases, the best parties to do that are the community-led service providers.”
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Tangata whai ora means a person (tangata) seeking wellness (whai ora). Although this is also sometimes seen as tangata whaiora, we have taken guidance from Te Reo Hāpai, which indicates that “whaiora” means “with wellness” whereas “whai ora” means “seeking wellness.” In the context of these data stories, tangata whai ora, and the plural tāngata whai ora, are more appropriate.
Where the data story uses the term general population this is an umbrella term for the people who did not meet the above criteria – in other words, people who were not supported by a mental health or addiction service between July and December 2021. This means that the tāngata whai ora cohort and the general population cohort are mutually exclusive. This is important to keep in mind when comparing to other population numbers – you will need to add together the general population count and the tāngata whai ora count to calculate the total population in a specific intersection of age, ethnicity and DHB.
We always compare tāngata whai ora to their matching general population cohort though – so if we’re looking at tāngata whai ora in Auckland over 65 years, then we’re comparing them to everyone else in Auckland over 65 years who was not recently supported by a mental health or addiction service.
Technical definition: In these COVID-19 vaccination data stories, the cohort we describe as tāngata whai ora includes all people:
aged over 12 years (at the date of data extract)
who are still alive
and who had an activity submitted to PRIMHD (the Programme for the Integration of Mental Health Data)
with a start date between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021
into any DHB mental health or addiction team
excluding any leave, did not attend, or health coaching activities (T37, T35 or T52)
excluding any Integrated Primary Access & Choice or Intellectual Disability teams (team types 24 and 26)
Each individual tangata whai ora is allocated to a single DHB based on their domicile, not where they received service.
Caveats and reminders: Age is calculated at the extract date for tāngata whai ora, so individuals with birthdays may age into the next category between one refresh and the next. This means that population counts for age categories may shift slightly, but the variation is expected.
DHB is determined based on domicile, not service delivery. This means that population numbers within a DHB may not crosscheck against other numbers provided against that DHB, from other resources or publications. If you are trying to compare with other data sources or resources, we recommend verifying exactly how a person is allocated to a specific DHB. Sometimes this is done by service delivery, as in “all people who are currently receiving service at this DHB” or “all people who received service at this DHB within this time period” (which may, again, be quite different depending on the time periods chosen). None of these methods are incorrect, but they are different, so it is important to clarify exactly what a dataset means when it talks about people by DHB.
Ethnicity is the prioritised ethnicity reported to the Ministry of Health. This method allocates individuals to a single ethnic group using the priority order of Māori, Pasifika, then Other (described as All other ethnicities or Everyone else within these data stories). This is in line with standards used in Ministry of Health statistics, as well as across the health and disability sector, and is intended to ensure that ethnic groups of policy importance are not swamped by the NZ European ethnic group. However, it is important to keep in mind that this methodology does not fully reflect a person’s identification and goes against the principle of self-identification. Statistically, we also see that certain groups are then over-represented – Māori tend to gain at the expense of Pasifika, and Pasifika tend to gain at the expense of Other. If you are trying to compare with other data sources or resources, we recommend verifying exactly how ethnicity has been recorded.
Total population counts provided by the Ministry of Health are the Health Service User population for 2020 (HSU 2020). The HSU population is a standard population estimate used for health statistics, which counts the number of people who received health services in a given year. A person is counted if their associated NHI either received public health service or was enrolled with a primary health organisation. Therefore, the HSU does not include everyone in Aotearoa, and is likely to miss highly marginalised groups. The Ministry of Health provides the following information on the HSU 2020 used for COVID-19 vaccine coverage reporting:
The HSU population estimate was generated from data on 5th July 2021 and captures health service users in the 2020 calendar year
The HSU population estimate uses 1 July 2020 to set age, and anyone who died prior to 1st July 2020 is excluded from the population, while anyone who has died from 1 July onwards is included
DHB of domicile was captured on 31 December 2020 as the latest address information we have for the individual
Ethnicity and gender information comes from the NHI status at 5th July 2021
Children under the age of 12 years have been excluded from the count, as there is currently no approval to vaccinate these ages
Where more individuals receive a COVID-19 vaccination than engaged with health services in 2020, we see vaccination coverage rates greater than 100% due to use of the HSU 2020 as the population denominator.
COVID-19 vaccination data provided by the Ministry of Health, current on Feb 28, 2022.
General population data is publicly available here and current on Feb 22, 2022.
Tāngata whai ora data is sourced through the Qlik app, COVID-19 vaccine uptake of PRIMHD service users. Please note the following caveats provided by the Ministry of Health team within the Qlik app:
These are not official statistics
Data may differ from published statistics, as the data available in the Qlik app is:
Refreshed regularly from the data marts (whereas published figures are not updated after publication)
Sourced directly from systems (whereas published figures may reflect manual adjustments made when preparing for media releases or daily briefings)
These data stories have been reviewed and verified by the research team at Te Pou.