The Influencers: Peter Townsend

The adjustment bureau.

We are now well into the “call to arms” to get as many of our community vaccinated against Covid-19 as is possible. The push for vaccinations has highlighted some challenging issues that are inherent in our community.

They include obvious inequities within and across our communities. It is very clear that we have a lot more work to do in health to address the disadvantaged, disengaged, and under-treated in our city and beyond. The statistics around vaccinations relating to ethnicity, age, and socio-economic status are telling. We also have a small minority who are sceptical about the merits of vaccination, despite unequivocal scientific evidence of the benefits.

This is going to test the ability of our region to adjust to living with Covid-19, as it is the final few percent of unvaccinated that could trigger an outbreak. That may push our health services to breaking point and frustrate our ability to provide all of the other important health support and services we depend on.

Local health and wellness education, aggressive focused health research, and communicating critical fact-based health messages to our wider community have never been more important. Te Papa Hauora, the Health Precinct has an important role to play in all of these areas, to ensure that Canterbury remains a thriving healthy region, and a great place to live.

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