Some of New Zealand's Pasifika sporting heroes are joining forces to encourage young Pasifika to get the jab.
It comes following a warning Counties Manukau District Health Board might not hit 90 per cent fully vaccinated until late December, potentially jeopardising Christmas for South Aucklanders.
Known as the Pasifika Sports Collective, some of the most recognisable Pasifika names in sport congregated to announce the "Stay in the Game – Get the shot" vaccination drive, to be held over Friday and Saturday at the Māngere Hawks Rugby League Club.
They included former All Black Namulau'ulu Alama Ieremia, former Manu Sāmoa captain Lemalu Semo Sititi, former Kiwi and Warriors star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, former Silver Fern and coach of Sāmoa Vagana Linda Vagana, boxing legend Faumuina To'aletai David Tua and former Kiwi Ferns captain Luisa Avaiki Tavesivesi.
All would be supporting the two-day event, aimed at younger Pasifika between 12 and 34 and would feature music, food and spot prizes.
By then, it will have been three weeks since Super Saturday and those who got their first jab then are being encouraged to double up this Saturday.
Auckland Pasifika between 20-34 were of particular interest. For those 20-24, 78 per cent had had one dose and 55 per cent two doses. It was similar for those in the 25-34 age-bracket with 79 and 58 per cent respectively.
Tua, well-known for his jabs of a different kind, said it was an honour to encourage - or as he put it, "Tua encourage" - young people to get vaccinated.
However, he also referenced his immunocompromised health which reinforced why people should get the jab.
"I am immunocompromised so it was a no-brainer for me to get vaccinated, I needed to ensure I protected my own health.
"I'm only fully protected when the whole family bubble around me is protected too, so that's why we're telling our young people to get along this weekend."
Vagana, who the NZ Herald featured in promotion of Super Saturday, said her motivation stemmed from protecting her whānau which included an elderly father and auntie, two siblings, three nieces and two nephews.
"That's a Pasifika household, that's a Pasifika village, so it makes sense for me to take a stand with my fellow athletes because we have seen what a pandemic can do."
She cited the devastating loss Sāmoa experienced in its younger populations thanks to low vaccination against measles and urged people to think of their loved ones.
"Believe in your whanau, believe in your aiga."
Tavesivesi, also the head of New Zealand women's rugby league programme, said it was the example set by her immunocompromised mother which saw her decide in favour of vaccination.
"For me, to see her be so positive, so certain and strong about being vaccinated to protect herself, I just thought she really led by example and I had to put things into perspective.
Recent union convert Tuivasa-Sheck recognised he was included in the targeted age-bracket and hoped the upcoming event would be enough for those still sitting on the fence.
"I'm just encouraging those who are still unsure about getting the shot to come down, there's great leaders and doctors around us in this community so come down and ask them a question, get the confidence that you need."
Resources had been boosted for this event to ensure there were plenty of health professionals on hand to allay any concerns whānau may have.
Dr Siro Fuatai, from Bader Drive Doctors which would be supporting the event, said it typically hadn't been a priority at vaccination centres earlier in the rollout, but it had now become apparent the need to answer people's questions.
"I don't think we knew that people were in that situation, but now we're finding a lot more people like to talk to someone," he said.
"We need to address them rather than brush them aside."
The risk of not supporting the vaccine-hesitant was driven home by Pacific Peoples minister Aupito William Sio, who quoted modelling that indicated Counties Manukau might not hit 90 per cent full vaccination until late December.
Reaching 90 per cent across all DHBs has been deemed the point at which New Zealand moves to a different virus management framework which allows further freedoms through widespread vaccination.
However, Sio hoped strong turnouts from young South Aucklanders could see the target reached well before Christmas.
"It's uncertain at this point in time but I know last week on Saturday, we had a number of vaccination events and there was a steady flow of young people coming through so I'm optimistic."