Thursday, December 9

Bacon Buttie Covid-19 Vaccination Initiative Was A Success

An initiative to vaccinate people against Covid-19 in New Plymouth today using the lure of a free bacon buttie is being hailed as a success after 130 people took the bait.

Ashlee Kemp from Chiwi Catering serves a customer.

Ashlee Kemp from Chiwi Catering serves a customer.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The city’s vaccination center threw away the appointment book and made breakfast for anyone who received a vaccination between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

A steady stream of traditional workers, officers and families with teenage children in tow made their way to the Powderham Street vaccination clinic, turning a blind eye to a dozen banners waving at anti-vaccination protesters as they did so.

Ashlee Kemp and Ricardo Hormazabal from Chiwi Catering were serving the kai.

“So we have bacon and egg buttie. We have some nice scones, some bacon and some eggs and we also use some aioli and tomato sauce.”

Justine Howe was present with the Etta Coffee and Cake caravan and had been busy.

“It was fantastic, in fact we made a lot of coffees this morning and hopefully we will make a lot more in the next 45 minutes.”

The bacon buttie idea had come off really well, he said.

“I think it’s great. I think a lot of the younger ones have used buttie bacon as an incentive to get vaccinated.”

    A Chiwi bacon buttie.

A Chiwi bacon buttie.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Taranaki’s Vaccination Program Director Bevan Clayton-Smith said the bacon butties had done their job.

“It has been excellent, there has been a constant flow of people from 7am onwards … in fact, some people came before that and it was good.

“And a lot of people just walk around trying to change existing reserves and we are happy to adapt to that too.”

However, he thought that something else was at stake.

“Something big has also been the timing that some people are on their way to work and it’s on their way for some people from work to home (shift workers), so it’s probably something we have to explore to get there. [getting a vaccination] more accessible.”

Aluminum joiner Jared Angelsey said “Oh that’s good. It’s first thing in the morning and then I can get on with the rest of my work during the day.”

The coffee and buttie were just a bonus, he said.

Rod Provyn Industrial Chemical Cleaner was on the same page.

“I thought about going in because it saves me waiting until October, when it was booked.”

The early start was also a motivating factor for Provyn, who was working on a closure at the Balance Agri-Nutrients site in South Taranaki.

“The bacon buttie was a bonus, it was just to finish and I’m only going to be an hour late for work.”

New Plymouth High School student Sophie Wilkinson, 15, was one of the few students who came with her family to take advantage of the clinic.

The early start was great for her too, but she was looking at a bacon buttie.

“Yes, it was a good opportunity to get vaccinated in the morning. It’s easier. And getting vaccinated is important because you can save lives and, yes, a free breakfast.”

Nathan Beard of Coastal Concrete couldn’t believe his luck: the weather gods meant that his boss had sent him to take a hit.

“The weather is bad today, so we are not pouring concrete so we can make the most of it. And this has brought us all here at once. We all had reservations already, but this was easier.”

At RNZ’s insistence, she crawled into her bacon buttie to check it out.

“Beautiful, beautiful. Yes, thank you. This is amazing!”

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