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From your Mayor - 14 September 2021

Mayor Anita Baker

The recent lockdown was short and sharp as promised – and it’s great to see daily numbers decline and restrictions ease as we get on top of the outbreak.

The Porirua community rallied impressively again, but I picked up on a feeling of despondency as well. I noticed fewer cheery hellos during my daily walks. With vaccines rolling out and the border secure, we could be forgiven for thinking the elimination strategy had worked, and our sacrifices last year had paid off. So the arrival of the highly transmissible Delta variant felt like a blow.

There has been a silver lining in the form of an accelerated vaccine rollout. The lockdown jolted all of us, including the Government, into action. As long as supplies keep coming in, there’s no reason why all eligible Kiwis can’t be double-jabbed against the virus within the next couple of months.

However, there continues to be a lot of misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, mostly being spread on social media platforms. Some people are genuinely doubtful and need more reassurance, but others are cynically exploiting these fears to generate clicks, make a quick buck, or score political points. That is really despicable behaviour that puts lives at risk and makes future lockdowns more likely. By refusing to get vaccinated, you’re not just putting your own health at risk, but you’re potentially exposing your friends, whānau, neighbours and workmates as well.

I urge everyone to seek out factual, evidence-based information about the vaccine. To put it bluntly, anyone can say anything on Facebook, and anyone with a phone can post a YouTube video. These are not reliable sources of information.

We all cherish Porirua as a safe and healthy place to live. Let’s do our part to keep it that way by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same.

14 Sep 2021