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