MAYOR: The local push for vaccination

Published: 1 October 2021

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While there is no official target, it certainly looks like 90 per cent vaccination of the eligible population is the best way to protect our community and help prevent future lockdowns.

I’ve been vaccinated and I urge others to do the same. There is a lot of misinformation out there and people may be anxious but the evidence is clear - high vaccination rates will give an extra layer of protection to family, friends and all Kiwis against the most serious effects of Covid-19.

The Canterbury District Health Board and local health providers are offering a mix of regular vaccination clinics and walk-in clinics, where no booking is needed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is calling on Aucklanders to try to reach 90 per cent by 4 October and we in the Ashburton district should also be aiming high.

The rural and remote nature of parts of our district means many wanting to be vaccinated must travel some distance to do so. Many others work night shifts or early morning rosters. Thank you for playing your part.
Government agencies are pondering how best to reach those who don’t see the need, or those who are vaccine hesitant, or need to be encouraged.

Our vaccination rates in Mid Canterbury are high for the over 65s, but other age bands are lower. This may be because many faced long waiting times when they originally booked – if you want to rebook to a closer time there is plenty of opportunity to do so.

The website shows seven regular clinics operating in Ashburton and quite a few have booking spaces in the next couple of weeks. There are clinics in Tinwald, at the Ashburton Racecourse, and at several other locations in Ashburton town, as well as those being operated in Methven and Rakaia.

If booking online is not your thing, then you can book over the phone by calling 0800 28 29 26 – the covid-19 vaccination healthline has translation services in over 40 languages and operates from 8am until 8pm seven days a week.

It’s not always easy to get away from work or off the farm and into town, but every person who isn't vaccinated remains a risk and as a community we need to heed the Government’s call and get our vaccination rate up.

It clear that getting the jab is our best path to economic recovery and a more normal existence.

While it’s easy to think of Covid-19 as an Auckland issue right now, we know that Delta spreads quickly, that’s why it remains important for the rest of us to continue to follow the rules, which include mask wearing in some indoor environments and scanning or signing in.

“She’ll be right” is not the approach. We need to listen to the experts, support each other and get vaccinated.

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