Covid-19: Why a woman in one of NZ’s worst-vaccinated areas finally got the jab



ALDEN WILLIAMS/StuffKatrina Visser was one of 166 people to get vaccinated in the Christchurch suburb of Aranui on Saturday.Three weeks ago, Katrina Visser was unvaccinated and scared of the Covid-19 vaccine. Now, the 56-year-old Christchurch woman has received her first dose. Visser, who lives in the suburb with Canterbury’s lowest vaccination rates, was one of 166 people to receive the jab at the Choice Aranui vaccination event at Aranui/Wainoni Community Centre on Saturday. When Stuff visited Visser at her home in Hampshire St, Aranui at the beginning of October, she said she did not trust the vaccine and was scared it was going to kill her. She would consider getting it, she said, if her partner got it too. READ MORE:* Covid-19: Advocates implore Christchurch whānau to get vaccinated* Covid-19: Christchurch cases should be enough to ‘shatter’ vaccine hesitancy * Covid-19: Canterbury close to 90 per cent vaccinated, but West Coast uptake slow On Saturday, the pair attended the Choice Aranui vaccination event together. Visser said she decided to get the jab after hearing about the recent Covid-19 cases in Christchurch. “I’m very concerned.” On Sunday, Visser said she was feeling good, apart from her sore arm. “It’s a cross between a bee sting and someone punching you in the arm.” She was happy she got it done and encouraged others: “Just go and get your vaccine”.Peter Meecham/StuffTaliilagi Boyd gets a jab in Aranui on Saturday. Linda Smith administers the dose as Suli Tuitaupe provides support. Aranui has a vaccine-eligible population of about 3400. Ministry of Health data released last week showed only 45.2 per cent of them were fully-vaccinated. About 67 per cent had received their first dose. The rates were even lower among Aranui’s Māori residents. Only 28.5 per cent of them are double-jabbed.ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFFThe Christchurch suburb of Aranui has one of the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates in the country. (Video first published October 9, 2021) About 72 per cent of Canterbury’s eligible population was fully vaccinated and about 90 per cent have had their first dose. Christchurch Mayor and Aranui Community Trust patron Lianne Dalziel said the Choice Aranui event, jointly organised by the trust, had a great community feel. She and other supporters applauded people as they went in and out. She talked to one woman who, until Saturday, was not going to get vaccinated, but did in the end along with her four children. Canterbury Covid vaccination programme manager Satish Mistry​ said it was great to see the community come together to learn, get vaccinated, and celebrate the community. There was live music, free kai and many community and cultural leaders present to provide support. The number of people getting vaccinated across Canterbury has risen since news of positive Covid-19 cases in Christchurch was released on Thursday. About 11,000 jabs were given in the region on Thursday, almost 8000 on Friday and 9000 on Saturday – a total of 28,000 people. Tradies jab event ‘really hit the nail on the head’ Another event to boost vaccination numbers was held at Placemakers in Riccarton on Sunday. Placemakers Riccarton owner-operator Grant Close​ said 299 people received a vaccine, exceeding expectations. Most were first-timers, he said, and in the target demographic: young tradespeople.Peter Meecham/StuffA queue of tradies and other residents wanting to get vaccinated forms at Placemakers in Riccarton on Sunday. “That’s exactly what we were aiming for – the hard to get. We really hit the nail on the head.” Many were spurred into action following Christchurch’s Covid cases and some were also keen on the free barbecue food and prizes on offer, which included retail vouchers. Close said getting vaccinated had slipped down the priority list for a number of people in the building industry, who struggled to find the time to fit a jab in. They worked long hours and often played sport on Saturday.



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