The Government conceded this week that getting our vaccination rates from 80 to 90 per cent – and beyond – will be "a big mountain to climb".
The challenge here lies in convincing the most hesitant members of our team of five million that it's in their best interests to get the vaccine, despite a steady stream of online misinformation consistently reinforcing the idea the vaccine is unsafe.
The general approach used by desperate family members to drag loved ones out of social media rabbit holes is to lay out all the facts, figures and science behind the vaccines.
Logically, it makes perfect sense: carefully prove to the person why their beliefs are wrong and they'll get vaccinated.
But in practice, this is one of the worst things you can do if you're trying to change someone's mind.
A 2014 study showed attempting to convince the vaccine-hesitant with facts, figures and information actually causes them to double down on their resistance and made them less inclined to vaccinate their children. This is driven by something called the "backfire effect", a cognitive bias that makes us recoil and become defensive whenever our strongly held beliefs are challenged.
Using facts and figures to prove to someone that they're an "anti-vax nut" will ultimately drive them deeper into the hesitancy that you're trying to pull them out of.
As the Australian psychologist Steven Taylor recently explained in an article for the Guardian: "The harder you try to push and persuade these psychologically reactive people, the more they are likely to push back because they perceive their freedoms are being threatened."
This isn't unique to the anti-vaxxer segment of our society. Just try to convince your boss that his strategy isn't correct or your fishing mate that you're in the wrong spot, and you'll quickly find out that the evidence rarely pushes people in the right direction.
Getting through to people often requires you to pitch the information in a way that resonates with their worldview.
Behaviour change marketing expert David Thomason uses the story of packaging for energy-efficient lightbulbs in the United States to illustrate how this works in practice.
He says that when the box featured a picture of the earth and phrasing to the effect of "you are helping the earth by buying this," sales in the product dropped dramatically in States dominated by right-leaning Republican voters. They were basing their purchasing decision on their politics above all else.
When the packaging was changed to reflect that you could save money over time by buying exactly the same product, the sales went up.
The point here is that the packaging designers have come to understand that layering more information on top of the message wasn't going to convince anyone that this was the right thing to do. They instead had to change the conversation and use language that was familiar to the group they were trying to reach.
Another good example of this comes from the challenge experts have faced in convincing people to believe in climate change.
Frustrated by years of climate change denials, atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan used his brief audience with Pope Francis in 2014 to explain that the three billion poorest people in the world would be worst affected by the impacts of climate change.
It was this message that the Pope then took to Catholics around the world, framing the fight against climate change as a moral responsibility for those who care about the poor. The point here is that if a man of science and a man of religion can find common ground then we should all be able to find something in common with our family members.
Herald columnist and radio broadcaster Shane Te Pou recently shared an anecdote about a family member who described the vaccine as "poison" and said he wouldn't get the shot.
Instead of outlining all the reasons why the vaccine was definitely not poison, Te Pou offered to shout his relative a "box of Woodys" in exchange for getting vaccinated.
The relative negotiated a bit but ultimately agreed to the terms of the cheeky agreement.
Te Pou says the strategy might seem a little unconventional, but it means another person in his community is vaccinated. And this is a battle he takes personally, given that vaccination rates have been lagging among Māori.
Te Pou says he has made it his goal to encourage at least one person in his community each day to get vaccinated.
To do this, he has broken down his strategy into three groups. The first group involves people who've simply put the vaccine off because of time constraints. These individuals include shift workers or mothers who might be caring for children all day.
Rather than accuse them of being lazy or uninterested, Te Pou says he tries to understand where they're coming from and offers to help if he can. He says that these people generally just need a small nudge and a bit of encouragement to get the shot.
Te Pou's second group are those who are worried about the side effects the vaccine might have. He says these people are just nervous and have probably heard a few horror stories about what might go wrong.
Te Pou counters this narrative by sharing his personal vaccine story and reminding them that the alternative of suffering from long Covid might be far worse. He doesn't delve into fear-mongering, but he also isn't scared to take the conversation in a slightly darker direction.
"I tell them: I don't want to have to go to your tangihanga," he says.
Reminding people of their commitment to the community can also go a long way toward encouraging them to get the shot, Te Pou tells the Herald.
The third group Te Pou identifies involves those who have gone deeper down the conspiracy path – and these are the trickiest ones to convince.
In talking to these people, he tends to avoid any references to facts, figures or science. It's simply too easy to counter these arguments with online videos and articles. Instead, he reminds them of the cost of lockdowns to the Māori community and how this can limit the ability of families to make money. He also reminds them of the things they will miss out on if they don't get vaccinated: like seeing family members who might be living abroad or going on an overseas trip.
The point Te Pou makes is that talking down to our friends and family and trying to show them how much smarter we are will not make a difference to their view on vaccines. We need to instead shift the conversations to the commonalities and find the things we all care about more than abstract philosophical arguments about personal liberty amid a pandemic.
Sometimes, this is as simple as reminding a family of the feeling of an airport hug with a loved one living in a different city or country. Other times, it might involve a cheeky box of chilled beverages.
We should all have something that makes a jab worth it.