Get vaccine to protect others: Dr Maoate

Wednesday 5 May 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Health, National


Get vaccine to protect others: Dr Maoate
A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered. Photo: AFP via RNZ

Young Cook Islanders are being urged to get the Covid-19 vaccine to help protect their mama, papa, aunties and uncles.

Cook Islander Dr Kiki Maoate, the senior lecturer in Paediatric surgery at the University of Otago, said young people may have not have thought much about the vaccine being for the people around them.

“Someone who is young thinking ‘I’m bulletproof’ and all that sort of stuff may not have thought through the fact it’s not so much them that are going be at risk.”

Dr Maoate, who is also the president of the Pasifika Medical Association, said the discussion of the vaccines in the Cook Islands needs to be moved toward thinking about the community rather than the individual.

“Most people understand that the immunisation process is preparing your body to something that your body can react much quicker to.”

He said there will always be a group of people who are quite staunch in not wanting to be vaccinated, “but the vast majority of people will take the vaccine”.

The number of serious side effects for the number of vaccines given out is incredibly low, said Dr Maoate. He said the chances of any serious side effects happening in the Cook Islands is pretty much zero.

The Cook Islands is receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which does not have the same blood clot risk as some of the other Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr Maoate said the vaccination of people in both New Zealand and the Cook Islands will provide extra layers of protection for Cook Islanders.