The mayors of Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts are urging people roll up their sleeves, get vaccinated, and “knock the bastard off” when it comes to Covid-19.
The community spread of the Delta variant throughout the upper North Island has made the need for New Zealanders to get vaccinated more urgent than ever for if and when the highly contagious strain makes its way south.
While vaccination rates in Central Otago and Upper Clutha are tracking well, there is room for improvement.
For Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan, that meant accrediting those who were vaccine hesitant.
“I really encourage those who are still sitting on the fence to think seriously about the decision they are making through not making a decision to get vaccinated before this bastard bug gets here.”
“I don’t think anyone really believes that Covid-19 isn’t going to get back into Central Otago in the not-too-distant future and when it gets here, the more people vaccinated, the less the damage there is going to be.
“I am vaccinated. Vaccinated against polio, mumps, measles, tetanus, whooping cough, probably some others, and yes, Covid-19.”
Mr Cadogan said the biggest part of the reason he got vaccinated was to play his part to protect the elderly, immune compromised and other people most susceptible to Covid-19.
“I’ve done it so I’m much less likely to take up a hospital or ICU bed if I get Covid-19 that will be needed for a cancer patient, a road accident victim path through their end of life.”
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said his goal was to get to 95% and send the message to New Zealand and overseas that the region was protected.
“Let’s knock the bastard off. We need to get this done.”
“We are really keen to see our district and New Zealand reach 95% vaccinations,” Mr Boult said.
“We think 95% is a very good target.
“The reason why we say 95% is because there are some people who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons and some who don’t want to be vaccinated because they don’t want to. 95% is about as good as we can get.
“It is really important to know our community is safe and be prepared for people to come back .. Grab hold of this and way yes, we can do it,” he said.
With summer just over six weeks away and 10 weeks until Christmas and the traditional silly season, the Government is pushing for people to book their first vaccine appointments now so they can get two doses and enjoy a classic Kiwi summer.
This Saturday, billed as “Super Saturday”, has been tagged as crunch time for the districts and the country.
The Government announced the campaign last week, to bring attention to the 20% of people remaining unvaccinated in New Zealand, and get as many as possible vaccinated before Christmas.
As of Wednesday in Central Otago 66% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, 19% has received one dose only and the unvaccinated sit at 15%.
- As of last Friday, Maniototo’s vaccination rates sit at 54% double-dosed and 85.7% with one dose. The unvaxxed sit at 14.3%.
- In the Teviot Valley that number is higher at 23.6% unvaccinated; 76.4% and 49.4% have had two and one dose respectively.
- Travelling west to the Manuherikia-Ida Valleys 79.8% have had one dose, 55.7% are fully vaccinated and 20.2% remain unvaccinated.
- In the Dunstan-Galloway area 84.3% have been jabbed once, 66.6% are double-dosed and 15.7% make up the unvaccinated.
In Alexandra it is a race between north and south.
- In Alexandra North 84% have has one dose, 65.3% two and 16% are unvaccinated and Alexandra South edges ahead with 85% having had one dose, 67.7% two and 15% unvaccinated.
- Earnscleugh leads the pack at this point, 90% have had one dose, 70.4% have had two doses and unvaccinated sit at just 10%.
- In Clyde 87.5% of those eligible have had one dose, 71.6% two and unvaccinated account for 12.5%.
- In the Lindis-Nevis Valleys area, which surrounds Cromwell, 82.5% have had one dose, 52.6% have the double and 17.5% make up the unvaccinated.
Cromwell is divided between east and west; in the former 82.6% have had one dose, 52.9% have had two and 17.4% are unvaccinated.
- Go west and 83.6% have had one dose, two doses have been administered to 51.9% and unvaccinated make up 16.4%.
Heading into the Queenstown Lakes district, the numbers are a mixed bag.
- In the Cardrona area 81.6% have one dose, 50.2% have had two and 18.4% are unvaccinated.
- In the Upper Clutha Valley, which includes Luggate and Hawea Flat, 74.8% have had one dose, 38.1% are double-vaxxed and 25.2% remain unvaccinated.
- In Lake Hawea 77.3% have received one dose, 40.5% two and 22.7% are unvaccinated.
- The vast area northwest of Wanaka, known as Outer Wanaka, posts those with one dose at 74.5%; those with two at 38.6% and unvaccinated sits at 25.5%.
- Wanaka Central’s statistics are 90.2% for one dose, 54.7% for two and 9.8% unvaccinated.
- In Wanaka West 83.3% have had one dose, two doses accounts for 53.3% and the unvaccinated rate sits at 16.7%.
- Wanaka Lakefront records 88.2% for one dose, 51.2% for two and the unvaxxed make up 11.8%.
- In Wanaka North, 88.2% have had one dose and 42.8% have had two, while 11.8% remain unvaccinated.
- Finally, in Albert Town, 15.8% are unvaccinated, 43.6% are fully vaccinated, 84.2% have had one dose.
This Saturday is a national day of action to get vaccinated. Vaccination Centres open are:
Cromwell Pharmacy, Cromwell: 10am-12.30pm, 1pm-3.30pm
Health Central, Alexandra: 9.30am-12.30pm, 2.30pm-5.30pm
Roxburgh Medical Centre, Roxburgh: 10am-2pm
Unichem Alexandra, Alexandra: 9.30am-12pm
Wanaka Medical Centre (at the Old Mitre 10 on Cliff Wilson Dr): 9.30am-12.30pm, 1pm-6pm
Aspiring Medical Centre, Wanaka: 9.30am-12.30pm, 1pm-5pm