Heeding the call 

Waikato DHB chief executive Kevin Snee, left, with Taupo MP Louise Upston at Cambridge Community Marae.

Some of the Rotarians cheering on Super Saturday at Cambridge Family Health Pharmacy. They are, from left, Ray Milner, club president Ian Grant, Don Wilson and John Bishop.

Elliot Kirkby, 11, with gold and silver medals won by the NZ Rowing team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Courtney Potter and Serrena Ryder (right) offered free coffee to the vaccinated at Cambridge Family Health Pharmacy.

Cambridge’s Keli Amiet and Shane Smith popped into Cambridge Marae early for their second vaccinations. They were delighted with their Super Saturday pack of goodies, handed out by Glenda Jerry.

Alicia Scott completed her vaccination at Super Saturday Vaxathon.

As hundreds of people took advantage of Super Saturday to get their first or second jab, Mary Anne Gill, Viv Posselt and Wintec journalism student Ricky Lam, starting his internship at The News, called in to the Cambridge Community Marae and Cambridge Family Health Pharmacy with notebooks and cameras. This week the importance of getting the vaccine was underlined as more cases emerged in Waipā.

Maija Vance had her second dose of vaccination on Saturday – and said she would back stricter rules about having the jab.

“I think they need to make it that we can’t go to the restaurant or go places unless you get vaccinated, and I think that will help to get people to vaccinate,” the Cambridge horsewoman said.

Vance has been recovering from a serious spinal injury suffered in a race day fall in September 2018.

The former jockey was in the news in April last year after climbing Mt Maunganui to raise money for the CatWalk Trust.

Without some rules around vaccinations, she feared the country would not get to the 90 per cent target the Government has set.

Those fears were underlined this week as Covid cases in Waipā underlined the importance of people keeping in their bubbles.

On Tuesday the Ministry of Health reported six cases in Te Awamutu, one in Kawhia one in Kihikihi and two each in Cambridge and Whatawhata.
Super Saturday arrived with Waipā the 16th most fully vaccinated district in the country with 84.35 per cent of eligible residents having had their first dose and 62.66 per cent their second.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set a 100,000 national target for the first day of Vaxathon and Waipā residents responded.

In Cambridge they headed to the Unichem Family Health Pharmacy vaccination centre on Cambridge Road, Cambridge Community Marae and Cambridge Medical Centre for their Pfizer doses.

Members of the Rowing NZ elite development squad and the Tokyo team were keen to help with Super Saturday, so they quickly rallied the troops.

The team really added to the energy and put lots of smiles of people’s faces at Cambridge Community Marae as they gave out the goodie bags and Michael Brake and Beth Ross even brought their recently won Olympic gold and silver medals for people to see.

Alicia Scott arrived at the pharmacy and completed her second dose.

She said she was having the vaccine as protection for herself and her family from Covid infection.

She fears Covid will remain in the community.

“I feel like, probably, it has become a thing that we have to live with, and we will be having Covid just like you get flu or a cold.”

But with a vaccination, those infected would not suffer symptoms which would require being sent to hospital.

“We’ve got to live with Covid, that is the unfortunate thing, but we can make it less deadly and lesser a health problem.”

There were plenty of incentives to get vaccinated as centres put on entertainment and had coffee trucks operating.

On the coffee truck at the pharmacy, Courtney Potter and Serrena Ryder believed the coffee wasn’t the game breaker.

“There are a lot of people coming in, they are not coming for the free coffee, they have come just to get vaccinated and get on board with it.” Serrena said.

“People are encouraged by the fact we will be normal, going back to level 2… that’s why they are doing it.”

The Saturday push added just over 130,000 to the list of those who had received their first or second jab.

At 2pm on Tuesday, Waipā led the way for vaccinations in Waikato – 86.6 per cent had had their first jab and 67.3 per cent the second.

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