I’ve had some very interesting conversations over the past week regarding vaccinations and the concerns that many have over quickly made vaccines that did not go through the usual rigorous testing regimes of earlier vaccines that were developed over years.

Particularly for some indigenous peoples, the weariness of having to again be dictated to by the hosts or colonist communities who first brought viruses into their homelands has not been an easy conversations and poses dilemmas by decision makers as to what to tell their family groups.

I had a great grandfather who died in the 1918 epidemic in Samoa and I wrote a book about it but I never thought that some 100 years later, I would have a similar experiences in my own lifetime. The only thing that I know about him is his name, his village and where he was buried. Nothing else.

The decision to vaccinate was easy for me as I often visit my parents, who are in the Group 1 vulnerable category, and wanted to ensure that I had taken every precaution that I could to keep them safe as with my own family now that I am encouraging them to also get vaccinated.

My great grandfather didn’t have a chance against the deadly virus that killed him. All of the arguments and conspiracy theories in the world will not help you if you catch the deadly Delta variant that is currently in our community and easily transmissible in being airborne.

If I lived remotely in a rural area, island or a space away from people then I would have the luxury of not vaccinating but as I live in a suburban centre where the virus has already infected over 100 Pasifika peoples in Auckland alone, then it is my duty to ensure that I do whatever I can for my family, my gafa (genealogy) so that the next generation survives.

I’m definitely not interested in the marches and riots that are happening around the world with anti-vaccers wanting their freedoms and many not wanting to be in lockdowns. However, they also carry the responsibility and consequences for their actions regarding the vulnerable people around them who could be infected due to their decisions.

I do believe that each person has to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions about whether to vaccinate or not but when you are putting other peoples’ lives in danger then that’s crossing the line.

To vaccinate or not? I don’t really believe that we have a choice if we want our next generations to survive. I’ve called it an unnecessary evil that is life threatening and for me and we are privileged in having the ‘choice’ to be vaccinated or not. However, for me, it’s not a choice anymore, it’s a responsibility…