Nelson port workers roll up their sleeves for their vaccine
Nelson Bays Primary Health, Nelson Marlborough Health and Port Nelson workers were the first in the region to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on 1 March.
For the two port workers who had their photo taken for media, it was just 'part of the job' and 'the right thing to do'. The vaccination programme for Port Marlborough workers starts on Wednesday 3 March.
Port Nelson senior marine officer Dean Hardman receives his vaccine from Andrea Staufer (NMH). Andrea was delighted to be able to finally start vaccinating vulnerable border workers.
“I’m so excited, we are making history here. I didn’t think we’d get to this point where we can vaccinate people against COVID-19 so quickly – it’s been amazing to see the global scientific community collaborate, share data and work together to speed up the process it takes to get a vaccine ready and safety-tested for use,” Andrea said.
From left, Port Nelson senior marine officer Dean Hardman and Port Nelson pilot Shaun Chase spoke with reporters after their vaccination.
"It’s easy to do and part of our job really. I always get my ‘flu shot and other shots. I know I'm vulnerable to exposure in my line of work, but I still feel quite lucky to be here," Dean said.
Sean says his main concern has always been about other people – the risk that he might spread COVID-10 to others. When asked about what it means to him to get vaccinated he said "It’s part of life, part of the job. I had all the vaccines when I was growing up, it’s just the right thing to do."
From the left, Nelson Bays Primary Health (NBPH) CE Sara Shaughnessy and Charlotte Etheridge, NBPH General Manager Primary Care.
Both received their vaccines in the lead-up to vaccinating port workers as Sara and Charlotte are part of the frontline healthcare response to COVID-19. Sara commended Port Nelson for their support.
"We ran three education sessions for staff where people asked good questions. The port has appreciated and supported out whanau-centred approach where port workers' household contacts have been invited to get their vaccine at the same time as the port worker in the family household."
Charlotte said it took a lot of logistical management and teamwork to get to this point. "I cannot express enough how fortunate we are in this region to have the team we have. We have responded remarkably to COVID both reactively and proactively.
"I'm excited to be here today. This is an opportunity to protect our community and allow us to shift in to some form of normality."
Charlotte received her vaccination earlier in the day, as part of a 'wet run' they worked through prior to the border workers' vaccinations and a necessity due to her frontline health role.
"I have been working alongside the port team and front lie from the beginning so I wanted to set an example. I feel incredibly privileged to be in the position I am, I feel it a sense of duty to support my whanau and community," Charlotte says.
"The port and the wider port contracting companies have been fantastic to work with. We have had a very welcoming response, they appreciate what we are trying to do and they acknowledge the team work needed to make this successful."
From left, Port Nelson CE Hugh Morrison, NMH Chief Medical Officer Nick Baker, Port Nelson employee Dean Hardman, Victory Community Centre specialist nurse Steph Anderson (also the clinical supervisor for the vaccine delivery at the port) and Port Nelson employee Shaun Chase at a press conference after Shaun and Dean were vaccinated.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine
Frequently-asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines (Immunisation Advisory Centre)
Vaccine strategy and vaccine safety information (Unite Against COVID-19 website)