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Source: New Zealand Government

Researchers from across New Zealand have received funding to undertake research into the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and future pandemic responses.

“Our response to COVID-19 has always been science led therefore it is crucial that we fund projects that give us insights into how whānau, communities and the health system responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout.

“I am pleased to announce that 23 research projects involving staff from universities, Māori and Pacific research organisations, health and disability providers, Crown Research Institutes and Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, were successful in their applications for funding.

“Each project is being funded for 12 months and their research will explore the impacts of the pandemic on the population as a whole, as well as the specific experiences of Kaupapa Māori health providers, our Māori and Pacific communities, the disability sector, and people living rurally or in aged residential care.

“Upon completion we expect the projects to have gathered important insights including how best to support the work of Kaupapa Māori health providers, tailor pandemic control for aged residential care facilities and improve our guidance about ventilation of spaces used by our most vulnerable communities.

“This will give us insights into things such as long COVID, childhood immunisation and the pandemic’s overall impacts,” said Dr Ayesha Verrall.

Each project was allocated funding of between $200,000 and $500,000. Funding comes from the COVID-19 health system response and the National Immunisation Programme.

“The rigorous selection process is a good example of the reformed health system working together to set priorities and build on the evidence-based approach we have taken to the pandemic,” said Dr Ayesha Verrall.