I'm Jessie and I'm Unite Union's staff rep for Komiti Pasefika, and my mother is from Samoa, so, talofa 😤🇦🇸🇼🇸
I'm here for a little talanoa about the vaccine today, and about how I've personally made the choice to get the Covid 19 vaccine. I'm not here to tell you that you have to do the same or how to live your life, so DON'T WORRY!! I'm not here to preach at you, I'm just sharing my story for those who are interested or on the fence or undecided or just even nosy ☺️
Firstly I'm not going to say that I love or trust our healthcare system particularly much as a Pasefika person - I've seen members of my family be treated atrociously by healthcare professionals, so my trust for the system is definitely medium to medium low to be honest with you. The system definitely let's our people down sometimes, and there are some super racist individuals within the system just to make it worse so yeah it's sucky sometimes - but the system isn't the science, and I trust the science.
I'm privileged enough to have a big brain science degree sister, who can explain things to me in a way that makes sense and that I know is seperate from the system I'm wary of, and I'm very lucky for that. If there's things you're struggling to wrap your head around, you're welcome to send questions through to email@example.com and we'll try our best to make it all make sense.
So, with that disclaimer out of the way, why did I get the jab? because it was free, nearly a hundred percent likely to be safe, and pretty good at protecting people from Covid 19. Because I can see how it ravaged my Samoan family that lived in the States, and we couldn't be there for the funerals - because even if something happened here, we couldn't get to grieve the way we'd like to; basically, I got my jab for the people I care about. For them and this team of five million, I felt it was important to contribute to that 90/95% immunity rate where things can ease up a bit.
My Nana is 86 with diabetes and my niece is nearly three and has lived most her life in a pandemic. I want us to hit that 90/95% immunity threshold so Nana doesn't have to be confused anymore that we can't go inside and hug her, and so that our last years with her can actually be pleasant, filled with hugs and warmth. I want the 90% threshold so my niece will sooner rather than later get a normal childhood, and play with other kids (I'm sooooo sick of Blippi and Peppa). And also honestly so that you guys, our members, can be protected - you're out there exposed while HR are safe in home office fortresses, which is kind of sucky I think. I would love to see all our members make it safely through this Delta wave; one way for me to do that was to get immunised.
So that's more or less why I did it. I'm reiterating that you don't have to, you do have a choice and it's your body, and it's great we all get to make that decision. I won't lie and say I didn't feel kind of yuck for a day or two after the jabs 😓 but I do feel fine now, and don't have any regrets (except kind of that they weren't doing the mean promotional things and vouchers and stuff like that when I got mine done??? Sad), I'm blessed to be no worse off having got mine done.
I am hoping we both make it to a 90/95% vaccination rate, and everyone's bodily autonomy is respected and I think New Zealand can achieve that - and our communities, in the workforce, in South Auckland, our neighbourhoods around the MIQ facilities, our people, have been straight up instrumental in protecting Aotearoa and her team of 5 million. Even though you wouldn't know it by the way they speak about us sometimes in the media, we have a lot to proud of! ❤️ I'm proud of us, keep up the good work my friends, lesshhhhgoooou
(Shoutout to the Fono thefono.org ) for the awesome work they do with our communities, mending relationships and le vā between us and the healthcare system - I highly recommend them and their services to members of our Pasefika community 🥰🥰)