Gina Pikaahu – Registered Nurse – Maaori Health

Registered Nurse Gina Pikaahu was one of the first of our frontline staff to get the COVID-19 vaccination. She shares her experience and why getting the covid vaccination is about protecting your whaanau.

What was it like getting the Covid vaccination?

Initially I was frightened. I had seen people who died all around the world, so that was the imagery I had in my mind around the potential risks of not being vaccinated.

When we were told we were going to get it done right at that moment - that was scary. I understood the reality, but I didn’t have time to absorb it.

How did you feel after getting the vaccine?

The greater understanding was the real purpose of me getting it.

It’s about protection - I work in a space that looks after people on a daily basis, so it’s about herd immunity. That was the driver and motivation for me getting the vaccine.

What was the process like?

The nurse was professional. I think because she saw I was a nurse there was that instant understanding that the purpose of the vaccine was valid and relevant.

What advice would you give to people about getting the covid vaccine?

My advice is herd immunity – get the vaccination, so you protect your whakapapa, protect your legacy and protect future generations.

I delivered a presentation at my marae down in Port Waikato in front of around 100 people.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there; it’s about giving clear instruction. My conversation with them is ‘you will be going to work every day, you’ve got children or mokopuna at home, and you don’t know where your mates have been’.

If you decide not to get the vaccination the risk it imposes is a lot higher to your moko at home who are going to school every day. Adults are a lot more transient then children. Children are limited to their school and whaanau, whereas adults can go in and out anywhere.

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