Less than 30 per cent of 5 to 11-year-olds in the Northland, Whanganui and West Coast regions are partially vaccinated while areas in Auckland and Wellington are over the halfway mark.
But despite high levels in Auckland, the Herald can detail how inequity still plagues the region where the Omicron outbreak is likely to hit hardest - prompting calls for action from experts.
The latest figures released by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday show Northland District Health Board trailing the rest of the country with just 22.6 per cent of its population under-12 having received one Covid-19 paediatric vaccine dose.
That corresponds to 4403 Northland kids out of a population of 19,480.
Whanganui (27.6 per cent) and West Coast (29.2 per cent) DHBs were the only other regions still yet to reach 30 per cent.
At the other end of the ladder, Capital Coast led the way at 56.7 per cent. Auckland, Waitematā and Hutt Valley DHBs were the remaining regions above 50 per cent.
Nationally, 43 per cent of 5 to 11-year-olds were partially vaccinated - 202,779 out of 476,294.
Canterbury, Nelson Marlborough and Counties Manukau round out the seven DHBs above the national average, with the remaining 13 falling below.
Vaccination levels for tamariki Māori were well behind national figures, with just 24 per cent having had one dose across the country.
Northland again occupied the bottom of the list at 13.8 per cent - 1442 from a total population of 10,478.
Northland had the country's third-largest population of tamariki Māori, behind Waikato (14,353) and Counties Manukau (13,654).
The region's progress was almost a third of Capital and Coast, which had reached 38.4 per cent in tamariki Māori - still almost 20 per cent less than for its total 5-11 population.
Whanganui and Bay of Plenty rounded out the bottom three, with 16.6 per cent and 17.7 per cent respectively.
Whakawhiti Ora Pai is the most northern Māori health provider with clinic sites at Pukenui, Te Kao and Te Hāpua.
General manager Errol Murray said Northland's 5 to 11-year-old vaccination levels were low, partly because many providers hadn't started administering paediatric vaccines yet.
Whakawhiti Ora Pai would begin its paediatric rollout on Sunday in Kaimaumau.
Murray said staff wellbeing had been front of mind when choosing a start date.
"There is workforce fatigue so we've got to pace the work out," he told the Herald.
He said it was too early to tell whether whānau were hesitant to get their tamariki vaccinated, but reinforced the need for collaboration.
"I think the worst thing to do is pressure everybody and say, 'You have to get it done', we have to work with our communities."
A Northland DHB spokesperson acknowledged the region's history as "vaccine hesitant".
"Activity by anti-vax protesters has compounded the issue and seen more and more whānau decide to decline childhood immunisation."
The spokesperson said the DHB was working closely with schools and the Ministry of Education to support vaccination.
In late January, the Herald revealed the inequity early in Auckland's child vaccination programme where levels of Māori and Pasifika vaccination in 5 to 11-year-olds were less than half that of other ethnicities.
It appears that gap has barely closed according to new data, which showed the number of vaccinated Auckland tamariki Māori was still less than half that of other ethnicities.
A total of 60 per cent of children of other ethnicities, including NZ European and Asian, had received a dose, while just 29.7 per cent of Māori had.
For Pasifika, 35.8 per cent of 5 to 11-year-olds had received a dose.
The disparities extended into the three DHBs with vaccination levels in Counties Manukau (South Auckland) lower for both Māori and Pasifika, compared to Waitematā and Auckland.
Of tamariki Māori in Counties Manukau, just 24.1 per cent had been vaccinated. For other ethnicities in Auckland DHB, it was 65.5 per cent.
Māori health researcher Dr Rawiri Taonui was concerned by the inequity shown in both the national and Auckland data.
He noted the gap between Māori and non-Māori tamariki at a national level had grown over the last few days, highlighting the need for more targeted mahi.
"What's missing is a tamariki Māori strategy," he said.
"There has been lots of consultation through Christmas and through January on formulating a strategy, but the actual key components haven't been discussed or put in place."
He suspected the impact of issues with last year's general vaccine rollout for Māori had carried over for whānau deciding whether to vaccinate their tamariki.
"If people don't trust you and you act in a way that shows you don't trust them, you alienate them further and further."
Given the impending Omicron surge, recent research and low vaccination levels for Māori children, Taonui supported reducing the gap between first and second doses from eight weeks to three, to improve their immunity before the variant spread widely through schools.
Dr Jin Russell, community and developmental paediatrician at Starship Children's Health, said the first paediatric dose gave children good protection against being hospitalised by Omicron for that eight-week period.
While she didn't feel it necessary to shorten the gap for all tamariki, Russel did encourage whānau with children with co-morbidities to ask their doctor whether an earlier second dose was appropriate.
According to the Ministry of Health, the time between doses could be shortened to 21 days if the child was starting significant immunosuppression treatment, for example.
Russell was pleased to see 43 per cent of Kiwi kids vaccinated after almost four weeks, putting New Zealand at a similar rate to Australia, which started earlier.
However, she was very concerned about lower levels in Māori and Pasifika populations.
"Unfortunately, we are seeing the same sort of vaccine coverage inequity play out again that we did for [the general rollout]," she said.
"That's very disappointing because we had a second chance to deliver for Māori."
She encouraged DHBs to make full use of schools, given they were deemed the most equitable location to provide vaccination from.
The Northern Region Co-ordination Centre, Auckland's vaccination authority, referred requests for comment to the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry hadn't responded to the Herald before deadline.