Past epidemics have shown that if Covid were to hit communities like Flaxmere they'd be the first ones to be devastated, a local health boss says.
Choices CEO Jean Te Huia said there are higher death rates amongst such communities because there is limited access to healthcare, and a low ability to self-manage.
"When there have been epidemics in the past, like the Spanish Flu, low socio-economic families are the ones who have been negatively impacted," Te Huia said.
"Communities like Maraenui and Flaxmere would be devastated."
She said within those communities there was a general mistrust of the government that was entrenched over decades of being excluded from the health system.
"Whanau have been excluded from the system for decades and decades, and now these same families are being asked by the government to become part of the same health system.
"For them it's too little too late."
She said there were still ways to get these communities to get the vaccination.
"You don't expect them to go to an organised clinic day. You give them alternatives like walk-in-clinics, mobile vans. Go to them, instead of expecting them to come to you."
Her comments came on the same day Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare visited Hawke's Bay indicating more money was on the horizon for communities like Flaxmere West and Maraenui to increase vaccination rates.
Henare was in the region on Wednesday to support the Māori vaccination drive.
He paid a visit to Choices Mobile Vaccination Clinic at Te Whare Pora, Flaxmere Village, and told Hawke's Bay Today he was working with communities "who for whatever reason are vaccine-hesitant".
Flaxmere West has one of the lowest rates of both doses of the Covid-vaccination in the region, and it sits at 52.1 per cent of the eligible population who have received both doses.
Henare said an announcement was set to be made later this week about more money going to communities like Flaxmere West, where the vaccination rates rank in the bottom 1 per cent in the country for fully vaccinated.
"Those funds will be used towards ground gaining, door knocking, mobile services. We need to spend time, use effort and resources to increase vaccination rates within these communities."
Te Huia said to address the low vaccination rates there needed to be an acknowledgement of people not registered with GP practices.
"Our universal approach doesn't reach those. To access healthcare you have to be registered with a GP. If you are homeless, living in transient housing, social housing, you have no fixed abode, you slip through the gaps, and become not part of the universal system."
She said there were about 10,000 people in the region not part of the system.
"These people are then considered 'non-compliant' and they are judged as such."
Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe said mobilising local champions was the way to go.
Hawke's Bay DHB was encouraging more people to get vaccinated at a number of clinics in Napier, Hastings, Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay this coming 'Second-Shot Weekend'.
Hawke's Bay DHB COVID-19 Senior Responsible Officer Chris McKenna said the region had the highest turnout in the country per-head of population at the previous Super Saturday.
More than 100,000 people were fully vaccinated in Hawke's Bay, equating to 75 per cent of the eligible population, with 86 per cent having had their first dose.
Hawke's Bay's Māori population also achieved the 70 per cent milestone of people having had at least one dose of the vaccine this week, she said.
People who get their first or second jab at any clinic this weekend will go in the draw to win Six60 tickets, iPhones and, Prezzy cards.
Check hbcovidvaccine.nz for full details.