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Assessment of Ethnic Inequities and Subpopulation Estimates in COVID-19 Vaccination in New Zealand

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

COVID-19 has exposed inequities in access to care, baseline health, and economic standing.1,2 In Aotearoa New Zealand, Pacific peoples and Māori have disproportionately experienced poor SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. To ensure prevention and care equity, the COVID-19 vaccination program targeted high-risk people first. In October 2021, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced 90% vaccine coverage targets among eligible populations, obviating the need for future lockdowns.3 Beginning December 2021, vaccination proof was required for everyone aged at least 12 years to access certain venues (eg, hospitality services); Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) booster vaccines were required for specific occupations (eg, health care). We highlight the outcome of different population estimate methodologies on relative gaps in vaccination between ethnic groups and the resulting population risk.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: April 23, 2022.

Published: June 21, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.17653

Correction: This article was corrected on July 22, 2022, to fix the y-axis scale in Figure 1B and 1C.

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Anglemyer A et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Andrew Anglemyer, MPH, PhD, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, 362 Leith St, Dunedin North 9016, New Zealand (andrew.anglemyer@otago.ac.nz).

Author Contributions: Dr Anglemyer had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Anglemyer, Sporle, Sonder.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Anglemyer, Grey, Tukuitonga, Sporle.

Drafting of the manuscript: Anglemyer, Sporle, Sonder.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Anglemyer, Sporle, Sonder.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Anglemyer, Grey, Tukuitonga, Sporle.

Supervision: Anglemyer, Sonder.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Grey reported receiving grants from the Heart Foundation and grants from the National Science Challenge (Healthier Lives) outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

References
1.
Aldridge  RW , Lewer  D , Katikireddi  SV ,  et al.  Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups in England are at increased risk of death from COVID-19: indirect standardisation of NHS mortality data.   Wellcome Open Res. 2020;5:88. doi:10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15922.2PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Tai  DBG , Shah  A , Doubeni  CA , Sia  IG , Wieland  ML .  The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.   Clin Infect Dis. 2021;72(4):703-706.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
1News. Ardern sets COVID-19 target of 90% fully vaccinated to ease restrictions. Published October 22, 2021. Accessed May 11, 2022. https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/10/21/ardern-sets-covid-19-target-of-90-fully-vaccinated-to-ease-restrictions/
5.
Hippisley-Cox  J , Coupland  CA , Mehta  N ,  et al.  Risk prediction of COVID-19 related death and hospital admission in adults after COVID-19 vaccination: national prospective cohort study.   BMJ. 2021;374:n2244. doi:10.1136/bmj.n2244PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Stats NZ. Final report of the 2018 Census External Data Quality Panel. Accessed May 11, 2022. http://www.stats.govt.nz
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