Why we chose to get vaccinated

Summer. Right from the time I was a small child, it has been a special time of the year. Days spent at the beach, backyard cricket, spending time with our whānau who live in other parts of the country… all of that happens in summer. The family part was the most special – whether it was hanging out with cousins at Christmas or being shipped off to stay with our grandparents for a couple of weeks, most of my favourite childhood memories revolve around being able to spend time with the people I love.

As an adult, it’s been the same. Adventures with my son over the school holidays, taking him to do the things that we enjoyed as children. Feeling the coolness of the ocean wash over my skin on a hot day. Picking berries with my niece and nephew, listening to their giggles as they eat more raspberries than they drop into the container. BBQs with our friends. Road trips to see our parents, aunts and uncles, who all live in other parts of Aotearoa. Making the most of precious time with the one grandparent that my partner and I have left between us.

Now it’s October 2021 and summer is only a few weeks away. Usually this would be the time that I’m planning to write about swimsuits or what to wear to festivals, or interviewing some of our amazing New Zealand designers about their summer collections. However, all of that is on hold, because first we need to talk about something else. Vaccinations. If we want to be able to get out and go swimming this summer, or go to festivals, or spend time with the people we love, we need to do our bit to make sure it’s safe. Part of that involves getting vaccinated against COVID-19, and here at FashioNZ we wanted to take some time to share why we decided to get the vaccine.

Vaccine selfie

This is my vaccination selfie.

Meagan: I live with a chronic illness that puts me at risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, and I have friends and whānau who are high risk as well. I had my first shot in July and the second at the beginning of September, because I want to be able to spend time with my family in person again; to see my son who is now grown up and living in another city; to hug my mum; to giggle and eat berries with my niece and nephew rather than watching them grow up on video calls. I want to be able to safely see my friends, to hang out at the beach and be able to travel again. I got vaccinated to help protect myself, the people I love, and our community.

Anya: I have two reasons for being vaccinated. My own immediate family (including myself) have pre-existing health issues. As a family, we are dealing with genetic disorders that affect our immune systems, and cause asthma and allergic reactions. We did our research and realised that the risks of possible side effects far outweigh the effects of COVID-19 itself. We found the vaccination centres super helpful and watchful (especially for the two of us that have anaphylaxis).

But the main reason for us to be vaccinated was to protect my two beautiful granddaughters. They are too small (at 4 and 6) to be vaccinated for now, so we have to be vaccinated to keep them safe, and to eventually be able to see them when we go down a level or two. It’s a very small price to pay to keep them, my wider family and community safe.

Vaccination selfie

Nina’s vaccination selfie.

Nina: I was apprehensive at first, like I’m sure so many other people were. The thought of trying a vaccine that seemed rushed was a little unnerving to me. There was so much information out there, so many conflicting opinions, so much scaremongering about the “so-called” harmful effects of this vaccine. But I am lucky that I understand the difference between people posting dangerous rhetoric on social media and medical professionals with actual fact-based scientific evidence. I actually discovered Dr Morgan Edwards on Instagram and found her fact-based, science-backed knowledge of the vaccine, its side effects and statistics really helpful to help me understand why it was important to get the vaccine and also that it really is safe. I realised that it was more important for me to get over my fear and to get vaxxed to protect my whānau and friends. I have people close to me who are immunocompromised and I’m lucky enough to have many beautiful grandparents, who are also great-grandparents to my young son, so it is important to me that we keep them safe and healthy.

I have had my first dose and I am getting my second dose this Saturday with my whānau and I can’t wait to be fully immunised. For my first vaccine, I hardly felt the needle go in and it was over faster than I could say “vaccination!” I felt fine afterwards, other than a minor sore arm and the following day I had mild nausea and felt a little fatigued but was fully back to normal the day after that.

Vaccination selfie

Charlotte’s vaccination selfie.

Charlotte: I chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine so that I’m safe but also, for everyone around me. By getting vaccinated, I’m contributing towards my community’s safety and that’s incredibly important to me. There are of course other reasons, like I want to see my loved ones; to see all my friends who have had babies during the lockdown; I want to record my podcast in person with my co-host; I want to see my friends get married; I want to support my favourite restaurants in person; I want to visit Auckland (the city I grew up in); and I want to see my clients in person. Plus, everyone knows you’re immediately sexier once you get vaxxed!

Carolyn: I chose to get vaccinated to help protect those that can’t be vaccinated and to be part of the solution. I’ve had many vaccinations for overseas travel before and getting this vaccine means we’ll be able to travel again.

I got my second dose today and aside from that punched in the arm feeling like a tetanus shot, I feel fine.

Vaccination selfie

Evelyn’s vaccination selfie.

Evelyn: I got my first vaccination in early September as soon as my age group was able to make a booking and had my second one last week, both times I felt fine afterwards, just a bit tired. For me it was about choosing to protect my whānau, my community and myself. I really miss seeing my friends and whānau who live in other cities not to mention other countries and the only way to do that safely in future is for as many people as possible to be vaccinated. I want to be able to visit my 86 year old nana this summer, time with loved ones is so precious and a really hard thing to sacrifice at the moment. Getting the vaccine is the best thing any of us can do for Aotearoa right now.

Super Saturday is being held this weekend, on Saturday 16th October. The aim is to get as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible, to protect our community. The more of us that are fully vaccinated, the more protection we will have against COVID-19, and the more freedom this gives us to enjoy those awesome Kiwi summers with the people that we love.

You’ve undoubtedly heard from many people far more qualified than us about the COVID-19 vaccine, but if you need more information about it or have any questions, we recommend checking out the official Unite Against COVID-19 website. There’s also going to be a Facebook Live: Ask An Expert panel discussion on Saturday 16th October at 9.30am with Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Professor Nikki Turner, Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Dr Vanisi Prescott, moderated by Mihingarangi Forbes – you can find out more about that here.

Meagan Kerr also writes at This is Meagan Kerr.

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