SunLive         

With summer just around the corner, many of us here in Tauranga have already started planning for the holiday season. This year, there’s one extra item to cross off the to-do list as we approach the end of the year: getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

The good news is that this week, it’s easier than ever to get your vaccine. This weekend, the Super Saturday event is taking place right around the country and will see vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies open late so that everyone can head along and get their vaccine.

More than 80 per cent of people in Tauranga have now had at least one dose of the vaccine, which is a fantastic effort. However, to ensure our communities are safe and to make sure we can all enjoy the things we love this summer, we need as many people as possible to get two shots – and Super Saturday is a key part of this.

If you haven’t got around to getting your first shot yet, I’d really encourage you to get out and get it done this week, so that you’re fully vaccinated in time for summer.

Even if you can’t make it along to Super Saturday, it’s really easy to do: you can book at: bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling: 0800 28 29 26. Some vaccination centres don’t even require a booking – you can simply turn up and get your shot when it suits you. Check out: covid19.govt.nz to find somewhere close to you.

People who are waiting for their second dose can take part in Super Saturday too. If it’s been more than three weeks since your first dose, you can take advantage of Super Saturday to get fully vaccinated – there’s no need to wait the full six weeks until your original appointment.

Just make sure that if you do get your second dose this week, you cancel your booking so someone else can take the spot!

More than two million New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated, and if you’re one of them, there are still ways you can support our vaccination rollout. You can give your friends a ride to the nearest vaccination centre this weekend, chat with family members about getting vaccinated and encourage them to get theirs, or offer to book an appointment for someone who is having trouble doing it on their own.

Every extra person who gets vaccinated in Tauranga is another layer of protection for our communities, so your actions will make a difference.

Finally, I know some people might still be a little unsure about getting the vaccine, and that’s okay. It’s important to get the right information to help you make the best decision for you and your family. If you do have questions or want more information before making up your mind, you can find reliable, accurate information, along with advice from medical experts, at: covid19.govt.nz.

You might also like to check in with your GP or health provider with any specific questions you have.

Choosing to get vaccinated is not only the best way to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19, it’s also helps us all get back to doing the things we love. Let’s continue the solid effort here in Tauranga and take the opportunity this weekend to boost our vaccination rates.

Jan Tinetti
Labour MP