When the bus rolled out in South Auckland to take vaccinations to our people, the choice of name for the vehicle was Kiwi-as, as the kids used to say: "Shot Bro."
By the time you read this, more than three million New Zealanders will have had their first of the two recommended Pfizer shots and we are closing in on two million having received both.
But there is work to do. Overseas experience shows the higher ratio of vaccination in a population when restrictions are lifted, the better the results: fewer seriously ill and burdening health services; fewer symptomatic and potentially spreading to vulnerable people; and fewer deaths. Many will have read about the consequences of the UK easing restrictions at 64 per cent of the population vaccinated.
That is why we have launched The 90% Project - a campaign to get 90 per cent of New Zealand's eligible population fully vaccinated by Christmas.
There is more capacity to ramp up the vaccine roll-out. Following 750,000 doses "advanced" from Spain and Denmark, we have sufficient doses to see the country through until our next bulk order arrives next month.
According to the Ministry of Health, New Zealand has just under 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in stock and available for distribution at central warehouses. This does not include stock in transit or available at sites ready for use.
New Zealand also surpassed the target of 12,000 staff being trained to administer the vaccine back in mid-August.
Despite earlier fears of doses having to be thrown away after being taken from refrigeration storage and not being administered in time, we are making good use of the vaccine with just 0.16 per cent "wastage".
Despite this, some sectors of New Zealand are slow to the poke. Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner says these people's issues are much more complex than vaccine "hesitancy" - a term she feels is unhelpful.
"Usually, it's a mixture of the system not working very well – like it's been difficult to book, it's not easy to get away to get there, or I've got barriers to accessing the system – and mistrust from health services in the past," she said.
"That means, to actually get high uptake, you've got to look at whether the system is responsive to the customer."
People who haven't yet been vaccinated may not necessarily be averse to it, it may be a matter of access or time constraints. They may need someone to look after a baby, or they have become unsure about leaving their home. It's on all of us to ask, considerately, whether our friends and family have "had the jab" and whether we can assist them, if not.
As Turner says: "You need communities to be well informed by people they trust and feel confident with."
That is why The 90% Project will run across the Herald, regional titles, Newstalk ZB, radio brands and NZME podcasts. We plan to use our reach to the broad church of our audience to turbocharge the vaccination effort.
Over coming days, expect to see more encouragement in the shape of informative and data-driven content. In this also there will be lighter, more entertainment-focused pieces.
We've invited well-known Kiwis to be involved, including NZME talent. That is not to say we are being light-hearted about this; the aim is to reach as wide an audience as possible, including the communities in New Zealand that have been more reluctant to vaccinate, such as young people. The campaign will incorporate the hashtag across all brands: #rollupyoursleevesNZ.
There's an old newspaper adage that one should never take on a campaign which can't succeed. The 90% Project fits this brief. We are confident.
Firstly, because two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are proven to be 88 per cent effective at preventing illness from a Delta infection, and 96 per cent effective at protecting against hospital admission.
But also because we are New Zealand. For your whānau, for your community, for your country, roll up your sleeves and get on the bus.