In support of the Government’s decision requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, we are proud to announce all eleven of our Board Members are fully vaccinated.
Counties Manukau is home to the largest Pacific population and second largest Maaori population in New Zealand. We’ve seen how these groups are disproportionately impacted by the virus and its key for our board to lead by example. Vaccination remains our strongest protection against COVID-19.
Board member Catherine Abel-Pattinson has worked as an Intensive Care Nurse and recalls seeing patients who’ve experienced symptoms from Influenza (flu) type viruses.
“Patients would tell me it felt like their lungs are on fire or like a thousand bees were stinging them inside their chest while the thick secretions in their lungs make it feel like they were drowning and being smothered,” she says.
The current outbreak has seen many cases in the Counties Manukau region with Middlemore Hospital becoming the epicentre for Delta. While the case numbers continue to climb, we encourage you to get the vaccine as a tool for protection.
Studies show 95% of people who are fully vaccinated are better protected from severe illness and death, and less likely to infect other people – something that resonates with Board Chair Vui Mark Gosche.
"As well as protecting myself, I got vaccinated to protect my wife who is disabled and particularly vulnerable. We must think about looking after those in our whaanau and community for whom, COVID-19 could be life-threatening."
For Board Member Colleen Brown, the choice to get vaccinated was also influenced by keeping members in her whaanau safe.
“Our son is disabled, with a weak chest, so he would be one of the first to fall ill with COVID. We know that disabled people are more likely to die from COVID,” she says.
The sentiment to protect those most at risk in the community is shared by fellow Board Member, Apulu Reece Autagavaia.
“My son has Type-1 Diabetes this autoimmune condition means his immune system wouldn't work well against COVID-19. Both my children are under 12 years of age and cannot get vaccinated, so I got it to protect my children. There are many people, like my son, who are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” he says.
Amongst the many people vulnerable to the virus is Board member Dianne Glenn who has an autoimmune disease that makes her susceptible.
“Because I am immune compromised, I researched through medical agencies finding there’s no evidence people with immune systems disorders are at any greater risk of Covid-19 vaccine allergy than the general population,” she says.
While people may feel hesitant, she wants people to talk to their local doctor about any concerns and make an informed decision.
If you’re not vaccinated yet check out the Book My Vaccine website its quick and easy with the option for walk-in and drive-through vaccination centres.