When it comes to vaccination, my advice is – go away and think about your choice. Consider your whānau, consider your friends, consider all the people you love. When you’re ready, whether that’s in an hour, a day, a week or even a month, come back and tell me your answer. And whatever choice you’ve made, you need to own it – you need to be proud of it for you and for your whānau.
In all this kōrero about vaccination, we can’t force our opinion on anyone else. Sometimes when people are told they must do something, it makes them do the opposite. They need time and space to make good choices.
For me, I was a bit sceptical to start with. I did a lot of reading. I was influenced by what you see on social media. There were questions like, is this too soon? Has this happened too quickly? What about the new strains?
Then I thought about my situation. I spend a lot of time at the pā in Rāpaki surrounded by the whānau – all the aunties, the uncles and the cuzzies too. I will do anything I can to protect them. I also thought about what I do for mahi as a Whānau Ora Navigator and the number of different people and groups I see in just one day. The way I interact with them, the way I greet them. The potential that every time I see someone new the virus could jump. Not only is the spread scary, but I thought about who I could spread it to. Some of the people I know are more vulnerable, a lot of kaumātua, a lot of people who I know wouldn’t do well if they caught the virus.
I also talked about it with my whānau, and I listened and heard about their experiences of getting the jab and why they chose to do it. And I came back with my decision. I’ve been vaccinated and I am proud of it. I did it to protect myself, to protect my whānau, to protect all the people I love.