It is disconcerting to have friends say that they are not going to get vaccinated. Their reasons are multitude, and most are easily discounted. Like I saw it on Facebook, or Youtube, etc. Or, have you heard this statistic…The internet is an amazing addition to our lives, but it is also a massive propagator of nonsense.
John Locke, the Enlightenment thinker, is celebrated today for his “Letter Concerning Toleration”, in which he argued that to compel men “by fire and sword to profess certain doctrines” was not only immoral but pointless: the only true persuasion is the “inward persuasion of the mind”.
This challenge is often quite difficult to practice as it is so much easier to try to berate people into your way of thinking. However, as Locke said, it must be persuasive enough for it to become accepted in the mind of the person we are attempting to influence.
One of the challenges of Covid 19 is that the consequences of people becoming sick with it are dreadful. A common mantra being chanted early on was that it was only another version of the flu. The first thing to state is that many people state that they have had the flu when all they have had is a head cold. If you have the real flu, you cannot lift your head off the pillow. A doctor on RNZ recently said that Covid 19 is 10 times worse than the flu and can lead to failure of your fundamental organs.
The public debate has been healthy, as it should be in a democracy. I do get annoyed with radio jocks who seem to have enormous knowledge on public health, like Hosking and his wife. I’m not sure why they don’t apply to work in Intensive Care they know so much about what is going wrong and how it could be fixed.
Our neighbour’s father lives in the Netherlands. He has been told that if he did not get vaccinated then if he contracted Covid 19 he would not be able to be treated in a hospital. In other words, he would have to die at home. I think, with our limited ICU unit beds, that we might have to make the same call. If somebody chooses to not be vaccinated they should sign a document which says they will not expect treatment.
In the Press recently there was an article by Glen McConnell. In this article, where he argued that we are losing our ability to see two sides of an issue, he commented:
There was outrage on Wednesday, when we learned the Ministry of Health was working with Sonny Fatupaito and fellow Mongrel Mob member Harry Tam.
Both are well-respected leaders among mobsters and have stood out as willing to engage with authorities, despite obvious issues.
Health officials organised for both men to enter Auckland and encourage gang members to get vaccinated. Gangs are some of the hardest-to-engage people, but we know vaccination – to be effective – needs to reach everyone.
Right-wing commentators and politicians were outraged and went on a tweet spree, arguing it was proof the evil mob had infiltrated the Government. But life is not that simple.
There are many reasons to dislike gangs. There are many reasons to be suspicious of American music labels. And there are many reasons to ease current Covid restrictions, and to tighten them.
If we can no longer bear to read another person’s opinion and engage with those we often disagree with, then we’ll all be worse off.
Here’s the article:
Lately we have had the pleasure of Kim Hill being on Morning report. Recently she interviewed Harry Tam, a life member of the Mongrel Mob. It was a fascinating interview and Kim met her match with Harry. She extracted out of him that he had been approached by Professors from the Med School asking him if he could assist them to get access to a difficult section of our society for them to reach.
This public health call was a good one. Harry has access to people who distrust society as much as society distrusts them. However, this virus is indiscriminating in whether you are rich or poor. It can kill any of us. If guides into this community can be found; then use them.
When a needle exchange was promoted in Christchurch years ago it brought out the moral indignation of some in our society. Generally, people who didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. What they ignored was that we were already paying for Hepatitis treatment for drug users. If these people stopped being judgemental about others using drugs (ignoring their own use of alcohol), getting clean needles to addicts was a public health victory.
We need to be the same with Covid 19.
Here’s the Kim Hill interview with Harry Tam, which I recommend that you listen to. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018815410/covid-19-harry-tam-says-he-travelled-to-auckland-to-help-get-gang-members-vaccinated
Marlon wrote on Facebook that he had had his double jab and here’s what some person wrote in response:
You have a craft and a talent and presumably you spend a lot of time on it leaving only a little time for you to research and understand other facets of life,”
To which Marlon replied:
“Correct! I have too little time to blanket research the epidemiology, economy, history, and sociology of this virus. Imagine, then, my gratitude for living in a society where people dedicate years of their lives to these various fields of study,”
His comment attracted over 800 likes.
Make Covid vaccinations mandatory in key places, like CCC:
Leadership must start at the top of the Council. The mayor and all the councillors have stated that they have all been vaccinated.
Can the CEO and all her exec team say they have been vaccinated? We need to get this virus under as much control as we can. It starts at the top. There is no excuse that it is a human right to not divulge. Rosemary and I made a submission to CCC recently. If we had been in the room the entire Council would have had to wear masks. If anybody who is in the Council chamber, like the executive team and other staff, have not been vaccinated then everybody there should be wearing masks.
I call on the CEO to give a public assurance that her entire Executive team is vaccinated, as are all staff who appear before the Council, with no excuses.
The Government’s message to all those who either have whanau/friends who have not been Covid 19 vaccinated:
Key messages and talking points
On the vaccine rollout:
Our priority is New Zealanders having the best summer possible, and that means getting as many people as possible fully vaccinated over the next three months.
More than three million people have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 1.5 million New Zealanders are now fully vaccinated.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family, and will help to ensure we can all enjoy another great Kiwi summer. If you haven’t had your first dose yet, you can book your appointment at bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling 0800 28 29 26.
If you’re already vaccinated, you still have a role to play:
- Talk to your friends and family who are still on the fence and encourage them to get vaccinated. Answer their questions, talk about your own experience getting vaccinated, help them find more information or assist them with booking.
- If you’re an employer, consider how you can support vaccination in your workplace. You can find a toolkit to support you with this here.
The key to securing our COVID recovery is getting as many people as possible vaccinated. This will mean we can continue to keep our communities safe while relying less on lockdowns, providing more certainty for businesses, and starting to reconnect New Zealanders with the world.
When talking to people who are hesitant about getting the vaccine:
Getting the right information:
- It’s natural to have a few questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, and it’s really important you get the information you need to make the best decision for you.
- Getting the right information matters. There is a lot of misleading information out there about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- If you do have questions, you can find the most accurate and reliable information about the vaccine from sources like the Ministry of Health and Karawhiuia or by talking to your doctor or nurse.
- You might also like to chat with friends and family who have already been vaccinated about their experience.
- The Pfizer vaccine passed strict safety checks before it was approved for use in New Zealand, and millions of people around the world have now safely received it.
- Like it does for all approved vaccines, Medsafe will continue to monitor Pfizer to make sure it continues to meet our high safety standards.
Reasons to get vaccinated:
- Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. The vaccine saves lives and means you’re far less likely to get sick and end up in hospital if you get COVID-19. It also means you’re less likely to transmit the virus to your loved ones.
- Getting vaccinated will also give you choices in the future. It will ensure you can enjoy another great Kiwi summer, and will open up opportunities like big events and travel going forward.