Mayor's Message: Thank you, Whakatū – Vaxathon boosts numbers and community wellbeing.

22/10/2021 11:32am

What’s a healthy community? It’s one where we take good care of ourselves and those around us and that’s exactly what Nelsonians did over the weekend.

Along with the rest of New Zealand, vaccination went up a notch on Super Saturday, as people across the country went to one of the many pop-up clinics to get their first or second shot.

A big shout out to all the people who are supporting the vaccination programme. So many people have been involved with getting us the vaccine quickly and safely – thank you for your extraordinary efforts in this final push.

Nelson has done brilliantly with 65,717 people in Nelson Tasman now fully vaccinated with two doses. That’s 68%. But our neighbours in Marlborough are still ahead with 76% fully vaccinated so let’s make this next week count. Nothing like a bit of Top of the South rivalry! If you missed out on Saturday you can go to to book an appointment or find your nearest vaccination clinic.

But I recognise this isn’t an easy decision for everyone to make. For many of us this is the first time we’ve had a vaccine in adult life, and there are a few people who are still hesitating before making a final decision.

If you know someone in a similar situation, here’s what could help. Find a time and place where you and your friend can relax and not be interrupted. Ask them what their worry is, and listen, really listen; be curious, not critical. Empathise with them. Confirm what they have said to you, kindly.

Once you are both on the same page, explain where they can find trustworthy answers to their concerns. This might be their GP or any of the invaluable vaccine nurses working at clinics in our region.

Hearing that reassuring advice from someone they trust, a health professional can then give someone the courage they need to go and get their first shot.

Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation about vaccines online. To get the facts about the Pfizer vaccine available in New Zealand you should start with the advice at:

The vaccine is safe and effective, and it offers us a pathway to return to the freedoms that we all want to enjoy. Together we can do this. The more of us who are fully vaccinated, the more protection we will have against COVID-19, and the more freedom this gives us. 

Time to add to the summer protection slogan -  slip, slop, slap, and now, shot!! Then hopefully we can all enjoy everything a Kiwi summer has to offer including spending time with our whānau from the North Island.

Mā tātou tātou e awhi – We’ve got you.