Hamilton West MP Dr Gaurav Sharma followed NZME's call to arms and rolled up his sleeve to receive his second jab in support of The 90% Project.
"We need to get vaccinated. A [vaccination rate of] 90 per cent would be ideal, but I'd rather get one closer to 100 [per cent]. As a doctor, I believe in the science and our Covid strategy. I [also believe] it's the best way to protect ourselves against Covid-19," he said, while waiting for his second jab at the K'aute Pasifika drive-through vaccination clinic at the Waikato Settlement Centre.
As an MP and former GP Sharma has lots of people coming to him with worries. "I'm getting a lot of [former] patients coming back to me saying, 'We have a new doctor now, but we don't have any relationship with them, so we wanted to ask what you think of [the vaccine].'
"A lot of people want to know how the vaccine works and whether there are long-term effects. I am reassuring them that we have seen millions of people overseas getting the vaccine and that it is safe and it does work. It protects you and the people you care about."
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Sharma has also had people coming to him that don't believe in the vaccine. "I try to make sure I engage with them in a calm and diplomatic way."
He says for some people it is not necessarily that they don't want to get the jab but to find the time. "Especially with lockdown, people are busy looking after their family, which makes it more difficult, because you have to plan it."
That's why he is a big fan of drive-through clinics. "You don't have to book in advance and... you can bring your family along. You stay in the car while you get vaccinated and you can keep listening to your music - or eat your takeaways."
For people still hesitant, he recommends talking to someone they trust, like a medical professional or friend that has already received the vaccine. "But please make sure you get both doses. The accessibility is great, there are lots of options of where to get vaccinated."