Member who did not endorse jabs has no plans to leave DHB

Ilka Beekhuis
Ilka Beekhuis
A Southern District Health Board member who passed up a chance to endorse Covid-19 vaccination intends to continue in her role.

‘‘I was elected to represent the community and have received overwhelming community support for doing so,’’ Ilka Beekhuis said.

Ten of 11 SDHB board members said last week they had received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Ms Beekhuis said it was not appropriate to ask about her vaccination status and she encouraged people to become as well informed as possible.

Asked yesterday for her perspective about Super Saturday — a national day of action to boost vaccination rates — she said it was ‘‘an opportunity to get the Covid shot for those who want it, and is an individual choice’’.

SDHB chairman Pete Hodgson has said the board, as a whole, was emphatically in favour of vaccination.

‘‘The board is driven by the unassailable truth that the higher our vaccination rates, the fewer of us will becomesick and the less disruptionwill be inflicted on our com munities.’’

Mr Hodgson said he would be in the Octagon, Dunedin, this morning in a ‘‘supportive capacity’’ for the vaccination programme.

The Government is pushing for at least 90% of the eligible population to be fully vaccin ated against Covid-19.

The drive has taken on more urgency since an outbreak of the Delta variant, which has proved to be difficult to contain.

The Unite Against Covid-19 website describes Super Saturday as a national day of action and it called for community backing.

‘‘To best protect your whanau, community and the rest of New Zealand, we are asking you to help us reach your friends, whanau and col leagues who may still have some hesitation about being vaccinated and need some help and support to get it done.’’





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