Camping, concerts, cuddles: Kiwis tell us why they’re vaccinated

Right now, the single most important thing New Zealanders can do in the fight against COVID-19 is get vaccinated. More and more of us are stepping up, with more than two million people now fully vaccinated.

However, to protect everyone in New Zealand, we need as many people as possible to go out and get their two shots.

To help people who are still making up their mind about getting vaccinated, we asked a few Kiwis to share their reason for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what they said:

“Our family are all vaccinated so we can have the summers we’ve shared with our kids and family friends for the last 26 years. Camping, fishing, diving and sitting around the fire with a few drinks looking at the Southern Cross.”


Angela's family

“I was initially hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccination as I hadn't had a jab since high school some 35 years ago. I mean, I never even got a flu jab. However I got really sick with RSV outbreak and ended up with pneumonia. I didn't come right until a few weeks ago. I caught it off my grandson, who got it at kindy, and it took just a cuddle to pass it on. I realised then I had to protect myself, my family, and others in the community. A harsh lesson but that's my reason.”



“I teach an amazing bunch of special needs tamariki and want to keep them safe and well.”


Image supplied

“Two weeks ago, we found out my six year old daughter has diabetes type 1. Her pancreas has stopped making insulin itself so she needs it injected into her tiny body up to six times a day for the rest of her life. Diabetics are no more likely to catch COVID-19 than anybody else but when a diabetic does get sick they are much more likely to suffer serious consequences. An everyday illness can put a diabetic in the ICU, let alone an illness that has a much higher rate of causing serious problems. My daughter is not old enough to be vaccinated ... If we can help stop her from getting sick in the first place then that's exactly what we will do. Most people know someone who can't be vaccinated for some reason, but it's when it hits close to home that you realise why it's so important that you do your part to keep them safe.”


“My mother died in the UK early in the pandemic. She went to hospital for a relatively minor problem which was sorted, having a discharge plan. She was tested just before going home. She had caught COVID in hospital! She died with no family to hold her hand a few days later. I don't want this to happen to anyone here in NZ! We have done a great job so far of protecting Kiwis, everyone getting vaccinated is the best way we can protect each other!”



“I love playing gigs with my band and going to concerts. Live music is about people and fun. Getting vaccinated = live music = life is so much better!”


“I’ve had my vaccines because it is the right thing to do! It is right for my family, my friends, my country, for myself and the world! If we want to get back to normality, and help businesses to survive and thrive, we need to do our part by being vaccinated. Let’s get our jabs then all will be fab. Do it for others to show you care.”



“I want all of us to be protected from this deadly disease and get our lives back.”


“I am a nurse and I care for people receiving palliative care who are immunocompromised. COVID-19 in our community is a scary prospect for our patients who are at greater risk of dying from this disease. COVID-19 visitor restrictions mean that families miss out on valuable time with their loved ones. I am also vaccinated to protect my young children who can’t be vaccinated. Please, if you haven't had the jab, speak to a health professional about your concerns.”



“I have had both my vaccines to protect my whakapapa. We have 5 children at home, 3 are our mokopuna, and we also have my elderly mum living with us. My husband and I chose to be vaccinated because of our whakapapa. My elderly mum is fully vaccinated as well. I encourage everyone to be vaccinated: think of your mokopuna, your kaumatua, and your future generations.”


“It the only way to stop this virus. I lost a brother in the diphtheria epidemic, he died before I was born. There was no vaccine to protect him. The father of one of my school friends contracted polio in the polio epidemic, there was no vaccine to protect him. We have a vaccine, we all must get it to protect ourselves and our families. I would never be able to live with myself if I got COVID-19 and infected someone else, could you?”



“I'm getting vaccinated because I want to protect my family, friends, and community (and myself!) from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. I have seen so many friends overseas suffer from the virus and lose their loved ones, both from the virus directly and the broader impacts on food prices, health systems, and mental health. I'm also getting vaccinated to protect those who can't get a vaccine for any reason.”



“I want to see Ladyhawke play and dance the night away.”



“I understand that it’s our ticket to more freedoms! I’m so happy to do my part to help our community. This virus is very real and I’m grateful we have a vaccine.”


“Would really love to fly to Brisbane to witness grandson’s graduation and then fly to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands for husband’s 65th birthday with the whole whānau, as he hasn't been back since arriving here.”


“I want businesses to be able to get back to work, I want the country to not have to go into lockdown any more, I want schools to stay open, I want to go to concerts, I want the borders to open safely – that is why I am already double vaccinated. I want my fellow NZers (Aotearoaeans) to stay safe and healthy and not suffer serious health issues or death due to COVID. Look at what has happened in many other countries: 600,000+ deaths in the USA, for example, due to mismanagement and bad politics. I don't want that here.”



“I am living with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer and COVID could be serious problem for me as my immunity is compromised. The vaccine should give me at least some defence against this, so I can be alive and well to enjoy my new granddaughter.”


“To help protect older family members. To help protect those who can't be vaccinated. To show younger members of my family it is safe. To protect us from further lockdowns and disruption. To hopefully be able to travel again one day.”



“I have just been through breast cancer treatment. I was diagnosed on 9 October 2020. Since then I have had 5 months of chemo, bilateral mastectomy, 15 days of radiation, and still on oral chemotherapy. I have never taken a flu vaccine before, as I always thought my natural immunity would see me through. I just turned 51 last week and I have had the flu vaccine and both the COVID doses. I want to live. I want to be around to see my 4 granddaughters get married. It was hard enough going through all of this – I don’t think my body would withstand getting a bad dose of COVID on top of it all. I chose to get vaccinated because I choose to live. It’s as simple as that. My whānau need me and I want to be around as long as possible to support them.”


“The statistics are better for survival and I will be able to sleep well knowing I have done everything I can do to protect those around me.”



“I am vaccinated to protect my fanau and my community. I am vaccinated to have a somewhat normal life where my daughter, who lives in Brisbane, can surprise me with a visit, where we can go to concerts and be around vulnerable whānau without fear. I am vaccinated for those that want to but can’t be. It’s the right thing to do and the responsible thing to do. I believe in doing my part and I will unashamedly spread the word and encourage all those in my world to go get vaccinated.”


“Even though I’m 25 and a part of the age group that feels invincible, I got my first dose the day it opened up for my age group in September. I got the vaccine to keep myself safe, but, more importantly, my grandparents safe, my parents safe, my wider whānau and colleagues and community safe. No matter how healthy or old we are, we’re all in this together!”



“I was hesitant at first, having had a couple of auto immune disorders, so I did some investigating into the vaccine – like how come it was developed so quickly, how do we know the long term effects etc. I sought advice from reputable people including my doctor. I listened to Drs Baker, Wyles, and Bloomfield and realised it was very safe. So I went ahead with my vaccination to be safe around my whānau: my young grandchild has asthma and is too young to be vaccinated and I have a terminally ill whānau member. I thought of my community, my tai chi class, the people I share the supermarket and train with. I would not like to put any of them at risk. I also have whānau overseas and I want to travel, so a vaccination was a no brainer for me.”


“It's the only way we can move forward. It's such an easy thing to do and it can make such a difference, not just in protecting my health but the health of my whānau and those Kiwis who can't have the vaccine. We're only going to beat this thing if we do it together.”



“I value my health and wellness, and the health and wellness of others.”


“My grandson is recovering from leukaemia, I have compromised health, I want to see NZ opened up again, I want to protect all at-risk people, I want to do my bit – I'm not afraid of being vaccinated.”



“I feel that we have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable in our communities from the effects and knock on effects of COVID-19. I want to see an end to lockdowns and restrictions. For this to happen we need to protect the health service and ensure that they can deliver healthcare to those that need it without being overwhelmed with COVID patients. If we don't vaccinate it won't only be COVID patients that die.”


“To protect myself and my whānau. Also to keep us out of lockdown. I want to see my family in Auckland and vaccinations are the pathway.”


“To honour all the sacrifices people have made already and to allow us to safely open our borders without risking the lives of our people.”


“Having ME/CFS and being hesitant at first, I listened to/read everything I could and decided that it was safe enough, as the risk to me and everyone else of Delta was far worse than any small risk the vaccine posed. I didn't feel that if I became ill with the Delta strain, I'd have the nerve to ask for hospital treatment and also risk the health of the overworked staff there. We don't want the hospitals overrun with Delta patients and if this happens we may lose more nurses as a result of their stressful time. Most hospital patients are unvaccinated. Also – as an ME sufferer myself, no one wants to get long COVID/ME.”


“Some members of my family are immunocompromised so it's really important for me to do everything I can to protect them. That includes being fully vaccinated. I feel very strongly that this is the least each of us can do for the good of the country as a whole. To move forward safely and minimise the pressure on our hospitals, we must all work together. I know some people are hesitant but I hope they put their fears aside, consider others, and just DO IT!”


“As a blind person I am unable to visually see potential risks. Having had both jabs I know I am now protected.”



“I'm a heritage restoration specialist in North Canterbury – I have a lot of buildings on a waiting list and I need to be able to get as many done as I can. I'm reaching retirement age. I need to keep healthy so I can complete my life’s passion.”


“I work in many of our local schools with children who are having a real struggle with literacy or numeracy. This support is life changing and I want to ensure I am fit and well to continue my work with them. And, of course, I want to protect my own loved ones in the best way I can.”


“I want to visit with family and to keep them safe. I want to cuddle my grandchildren. I want to see Aotearoa/NZ COVID-free and up and running fully again. I want to see hardworking small businesses prosper and I want to see our hospitals dealing with long waiting lists for surgeries and our frontline workers safe and unstressed.”


“I survived a heart attack and cardiac arrest 12 years ago thanks to wonderful care from my GP, ambulance crew, rescue helicopter crew and two hospitals. I think it would be ungrateful of me not to look after the extra life I have been given.”


“Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi.”


There are as many reasons to get vaccinated as there are people in New Zealand – thank you to those who shared their stories.

If you still have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can find answers to some of the most common queries, along with advice from health experts, here.

If you’re ready to get your vaccine, you can head online to BookMyVaccine or call 0800 28 29 26 to make an appointment. If you’re in Auckland, you can get vaccinated without a booking at a number of sites. Find a list of vaccination centres across Tāmaki Makaurau that don’t require a booking here.

You can learn more about COVID-19 and vaccinations on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.