The Red Knot (Huahou) Study

This project is being undertaken by Monarch Collaboration members from the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. All other Monarch Collaborators form the Advisory Group. The research received funding in 2016 under the Global Strategic Partnerships grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Protecting the health of both migrant and refugee populations and the residents of the countries to which they immigrate is of major concern internationally. New immigrants and refugees may lack adequate immunization, not have acquired immunity to vaccine preventable diseases and/or be more susceptible to disease because of poverty and underlying health conditions. With large population movements between countries, infectious disease outbreaks and disease control are becoming an increasing international concern and require appropriate health risk mitigation strategies. This is a significant and currently under-recognised issue for New Zealand and internationally.

Utilising New Zealand’s capacity to link anonymised health and immigration data the Red Knot study will determine the immunisation status and vaccine preventable disease burden among children of migrants.

The aims of the Red Knot* study are as follows:

1. To identify immunisation coverage rates for migrant children in New Zealand (NZ);

2. To understand the burden of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) in migrant children in NZ;

3. To inform improvements for immunization service delivery to migrant populations to reduce immunisation inequities;

4. To develop a strategic action plan for further research work to improve identification and international responses to migrant child immunisation status.

This study is expected to be completed in 2017.


*The Red Knot (Huahou) is a long-distance migratory species of bird that arrives in NZ from the Arctic Circle.