Daniel’s journey to getting jabbed

Seeing friends and family get vaccinated and remain safe and asking experts about the vaccination process in online webinars helped 17-year-old Daniel McNeill feel confident to get ‘the jab’.

Daniel had reservations about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He wanted to wait until there was more evidence about any possible long-term effects. He is also afraid of needles.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to hold off and see if there are negative consequences of having the vaccine’. There is a lot of that feeling in my family too. But when I saw friends and family were getting the vaccine and were completely fine, that helped me make the decision to get the jab. It’s obviously not as bad as some people are making out,’’ he said.

“Once I felt more confident about the safety of the vaccine I did some research and went on to the Ministry of Health website and attended a webinar with the Christchurch Youth Council where we got the chance to ask questions from an expert. I was really reassured when [the expert] said that the people at the vaccination clinics don’t rush you and are really supportive. Because I am not great with needles, that made me feel much better.”

At the end of September Daniel got his first vaccination at a drop-in clinic at South City Mall. “I hadn’t had a vaccine for a long time, and I was very nervous, but everyone at the clinic was very supportive and explained everything to me and I felt very safe and informed. I’ve booked to get my second one and am glad that I will be protected. You hear about people losing their sense of taste or having bad flu symptoms and I now know the
vaccine impacts how sick you get.”