On August 20, 2021 I had my second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech according to the card I now am happy to carry in my wallet alongside other important things.
I'm happy to carry it because I believe it is the way forward for all New Zealanders – just like vaccinations were the way forward for past generations facing almost forgotten diseases such as polio, tetanus, rubella, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, mumps, diphtheria … The list of diseases controlled by vaccination programmes is long, and will hopefully soon include Covid.
My only concern with the vaccination programme was the slow rollout speed and lack of information.
As editor of the Te Awamutu Courier I had been seeking answers, to no avail, from the Waikato DHB as to why there were no vaccination locations in our town.
When my parents became eligible I wanted to know how they were supposed to get the jab. When my age band came up they still hadn't had a jab.
Then Te Awamutu went from nowhere to get a jab, to many options – including both medical centres, a couple of pharmacies and the Vaccination Centre in the former Bunnings building. Wonderful.
I was soon onto bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz and had dates for both jabs for myself and my parents. My wife Robyn was able to get dates as easily near her work in Hamilton.
I must say neither jab gave me much issue – a little pain within a day, nothing serious.
Robyn experienced a bit more of a reaction to her second jab, but it was gone within a day.
My parents, both mid to late 80s, reported nothing untoward.
My theory is simple, believe in the science and do your bit to beat Covid and get us back to normal as soon as possible.
I have friends and family living overseas, and talking to them it is clear we in New Zealand have no idea how bad it can get.
Having endured the pain of lockdown to try and eliminate Covid, I think it makes complete sense to build on the good work with the highest rate of immunity we can achieve and give ourselves a chance of recovering as a country.
We are in a relatively good position to heal from the many and varied impacts of Covid, from economic loss to our state of wellbeing. That can't happen if we keep going in and out of lockdowns.
But, I believe it is also not acceptable to Kiwis to simply give up and open up the country as many others have done, and put so many lives at risk.
Last week NZME and the NZ Herald launched their campaign to get 90 per cent of New Zealanders vaccinated before Christmas. It is a great initiative and the Te Awamutu is involved and right behind it.
Daylight saving is here, summer is on the way, Christmas is a big opportunity to drive some economic recovery and holidays in the sun will rekindle our joy to be alive.
So get a jab, and then another, by Christmas and be part of the 90 per cent that will ensure we can continue to enjoy our Kiwi way of life.