Saturday, November 27

Bacon Butties Add Sizzle to Taranaki Covid-19 Vaccine Launch


In an effort to increase vaccination rates, the Taranaki District Board of Health is adding a bit of sizzle to help make the vaccine a little more palatable.

Bevan Clayton-Smith, Senior Manager of the Taranaki Covid-19 Vaccination Program

Bevan Clayton-Smith, Senior Manager of the Taranaki Covid-19 Vaccination Program.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Tomorrow, anyone who shows up for an injection at their New Plymouth clinic between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. will be able to get an injection without an appointment and get a bacon deal for their problem.

Taranaki has the lowest vaccination rate in the country.

As of September 14, only 28 percent of the eligible population was fully vaccinated, while 61 percent had received at least one vaccine.

A mass vaccination event at the New Plymouth race track over the weekend gave only 342 injections when it was expected to give 2,000.

The head of the region’s Covid-19 vaccination program, Bevan Clayton-Smith, said those statistics weren’t the motivation behind the bacon-buttie initiative, but if fish markets helped people get vaccinated, he was fine with it. that.

“We have a group of very smart people working in this group and I guess it is just generating a lot of initiatives and ideas to see how we can maximize all the opportunities for people to get vaccinated.”

“To provide that opportunity and maximize what we can offer in terms of protection against Covid and the Delta variant.”

Clayton-Smith said the DHB was freaking out.

“I think we have up to 120 or 150 mouths to feed if necessary and we will take it from there.

“And look, it could be a case of scones on the run. You never know where the bacon buttie might end up next week or the week after.

“We’re going to test it and see how it works, you know. We’re going to explore what we can do to make sure we have extensive coverage in Taranaki.”

And if bacon isn’t your thing, don’t worry, the cabinets at DHB aren’t empty yet.

“It may not be to everyone’s taste, so what is coming will be a smorgasbord of ideas and initiatives until the end of the year so that we can make the most of every opportunity.”

“So there is more to come, we have a lot more in the pantry and this is our bread and butter so we know what we’re doing.”

The scent of bacon piqued the interest of most people on Devon Street.

Shaun was a fan of the idea.

“I think it’s a pretty good deal. Come in and do it.”

Bevan still hadn’t been vaccinated and bacon was changing the deal.

“A bacon buttie sold me. I’m there.”

Zane, Javaan and Jonty, colleagues from New Plymouth, felt that a bacon buttie could be the incentive for them to get vaccinated.

Zane, Javaan and Jonty, colleagues from New Plymouth, felt that a bacon buttie could be the incentive for them to get vaccinated.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

But not everyone was a fan.

One woman who preferred not to be named was concerned about the health implications.

“I don’t think it’s the right incentive. I think it should be something a little healthier.”

While it didn’t quite hit the mark for Thomas.

“As a vegetarian, it doesn’t bother me much, buddy.”

But think of Mark Simpson, who showed up today for his pre-booked, bacon-free vaccination.

“Oh, okay, buddy. This was booked six weeks ago so, you know, it is what it is … but I wouldn’t mind one now because I haven’t had lunch … maybe I have. A word. “

As part of its efforts to bring the vaccine to the people, the Taranaki District Health Board’s rural outreach team will begin a tour around the mountain next week.

His mobile clinic will visit Whangamomona in East Taranaki on Monday and complete a 14-stop loop in Mimi, in the north, on November 30.


www.rnz.co.nz

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