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Taupo & Turangi Weekender - 2021-10-14

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National day of national significance

NEWS

Laurilee McMichael FROM THE EDITOR laurilee.mcmichael@taupoweekender.co.nz

Nearly two months in from when the Covid-19 vaccine rollout really began in earnest, all the stops are being pulled out this weekend for so-called Super Saturday, the national day of vaccination action, when Kiwis will collectively work together to try to smash the target of most vaccines administered in a day. If it’s been three weeks or more since you had your first dose, this is a great opportunity to get that second one nailed. As I write this, in the NZ Herald’s Top Town race, Taupo¯ is sitting at 44th equal out of 66 towns, with 50.4 per cent of the population double vaccinated and a whopping 25.9 per cent yet to receive even one dose. Let’s do our best over the next week to push this much higher and stop ourselves being spanked by towns like Masterton and Gore. In our house we’re proud to be part of the Super Saturday initiative because, by a happy coincidence, my husband and three teenagers were booked weeks ago to receive their second dose on this day. The Covid-19 vaccination hub at Totara St in Taupo¯ will be open from 8am to 6pm and staff are hoping to get through 1000 vaccinations, a worthy target. There will be a festive atmosphere and all those with booked appointments, and walk-ins, are welcome. Bring your wha¯ nau and friends and encourage anybody you know who hasn’t yet had a vaccination to head on down. In Tu¯ rangi, there will be another one of the wellorganised drive through vaccination events in the Tu¯ rangi Community Health Centre carpark from 9am until 4.45pm. Nau mai, haere mai. In Taupo¯ three days later, we get another crack at a Super Saturdaytype event, with a second mass vaccination happening on Tuesday (October 19) with drivethrough vaccinations scheduled to be held at the Taupo¯ Events Centre carpark. There was a huge amount of positivity and praise for the healthcare staff and volunteers who ran the one in early September so cheerfully and seamlessly, with more than 2000 people vaccinated in two days. Right now, vaccinations are our roadmap out of lockdown and the sooner we can get to 90 per cent or more, the better. Eight weeks in from the Delta outbreak and I personally know people in Auckland who are finding it increasingly difficult to remain hopeful. The best is a sort of glum resignation, the worst, a desperation for it all to be over with and a real sense of rage at the rulebreakers who keep stretching things out while everybody else just wants to return to some sort of normality. Conversations with just about everybody turn sooner or later to vaccination — are you having it, how many have you had, what are your reasons for doing so? Part of Super Saturday is to encourage friends, colleagues and wha¯ nau who may be hesitant about the vaccine, to talk about their concerns and for you to offer help and support if they need it. In my own circles there have been people who have been hesitant because of bad experiences in the health system, some who are directly opposed thanks to misinformation they’ve been fed about the vaccine, or those who are firmly in favour because they feel a deep responsibility to help protect those who are most vulnerable. One friend of mine was nearly in tears as she spoke of one of her staff, who has two frail children with serious health conditions. With the children themselves too young to be vaccinated, she felt she could not bear it if she did not do everything she could to prevent the Covid-19 virus reaching them. If you’re hesitant, there is plenty of factual information about the vaccine on the covid19.govt.nz website or talk to a medical expert you trust. If you’re booked for a vaccine, make sure you keep that appointment. And if you’re not, there’s plenty of opportunities to get a vaccine anyway. Check out the list on our Super Saturday article on this page — there’s a vaccination event coming to a spot near you soon. Kia kaha, kia ora koutou.

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