SOUTHLAND residents used their community spirit, creativity and sense of humour to motivate people in the region to be vaccinated against Covid-19 last Saturday.
And the work seemed to pay off.
Hundreds of Southlanders took part in Super Saturday with nearly 10,000 doses of the vaccine administered in the south, the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) said.
SDHB Covid-19 vaccine rollout incident controller Hamish Brown said 9706 people in the southern region got the jab during the event.
Numbers he provided showed 1312 doses were delivered in Invercargill (577 first dose and 735 second dose) and 257 in Southland (111 first dose; 146 second dose).
The day was described as a smashing success with 85% of New Zealanders having had one dose and 65% of the population was fully vaccinated, the ministry said.
On Saturday, Kind Women Charitable Trust members promoted an “anti-anti-protest” to support the push.
Holding signs with messages like “Hit me with your best shot” and “Stick it in me, Ashley”, the group made some noise in front of the Civic Theatre where a vaccination clinic was held.
Kind Women member Sheree Carey said she wanted to support the event and to encourage people throughout the region to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“We’ve been so lucky so far and we want to keep it this way and protected.”
Invercargill resident Richard O’Kane took his son Ryan (14) to have his first jab.
“I’m already fully vaccinated but came to bring my son as it is important to protect New Zealand.”
Mr O’Kane and his son were among hundreds of people who were vaccinated at the Civic Theatre and treated with a barbecue and ice cream.
The Invercargill City Council offered free bus services for those going to a vaccination clinic, while the ILT and McCallums Group joined forces to provide transport for those in the community who did not have a car.
“We’re proud to be playing our part in keeping the community safe,” McCallums Group sales and marketing manager Paul Harrington said.