This is the warning from Southern DHB Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Programme lead Karl Metzler
“If you are over 65 or have a chronic illness like diabetes, cancer or cardio-vascular disease and haven’t had your booster, now is the time to go and get it,” Mr Metzler said.
“As a district, Southern did a fantastic job of getting our two shots. However, we know our immunity reduces over time, so we need to pull out all the stops to do it again by getting boosted.”
“The booster dose can make the difference between life and death for some people and will give you the best possible protection against serious illness and hospitalisation,” he said.
The protection you get from two doses of the vaccine reduces over time, so it is important to get your booster dose.
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection against Covid-19, so the time to act is now.
Mr Metzler also made a plea to younger generations to do the right thing.
“We know that younger people are less likely to experience serious illness from Covid, but high rates of infection among these age groups are putting older and more vulnerable people at risk. If you have had your booster, you are less likely to infect other people in your whānau and the community.”
Everyone who is over 18, and who had their 2nd vaccination at least three months ago, should go and get their booster now. If you are between 12 and 17, please make sure you have had both doses.
He also had a timely reminder for parents and caregivers, “It has now been eight weeks since a number of our 5-11 tamariki in Southern received their first dose. Please check when your tamariki are due for their second dose and make an appointment or find a walk-in clinic to ensure they have the best protection possible against Covid. It is also a great time to get a first dose if you haven’t already done so.”
The best way you can protect yourself, your whānau, and your community is by getting vaccinated, getting your booster shot if you are eligible and following public health guidelines: wear your mask, wash your hands, get tested if you are sick and stay home until you receive a negative test result, he said.