19 October 2021
ASB is donating $204,000 to charity partner St John, which will be used to fund two major incident welfare vehicles after 39,025 people headed out on Saturday to get their first COVID-19 vaccine.
ASB announced last week that it was getting behind the country's vaccination drive, pledging a $5 donation to the charity for every Kiwi who received their first jab between midnight Friday and midnight Saturday, and ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt says the result has been terrific.
"We really wanted to encourage New Zealanders to get out and get vaccinated, while also showing our support for St John, so this incredible result means we are able to make a significant donation to the charity, which will make a big difference to their teams on the frontline."
ASB has topped up its donation to $204,000 to fully fund the two major incident welfare vehicles, which cost $102,000 each. The purpose-built vehicles provide facilities for crews responding on-site at major incidents, and are fully kitted out with a kitchen and cooker, shower and toilet as well as space to stretch and rest.
"As frontline workers, St John's paramedics and ambulance staff play a significant part in the COVID response, and it's their teams that feel the pressure in emergency situations, often working around the clock to provide critical support," says Ms Shortt.
"These vehicles will provide them with a place to relax and recharge during those times so they can continue the amazing work they do caring for others."
St John deputy chief executive Ambulance Operations Dan Ohs says, "St John strongly believes getting vaccinated is one of the best defences against COVID-19 and we are pleased Super Saturday was such a success, with so many people heading out to get vaccinated. With Auckland the epicentre of the current Delta outbreak, it's encouraging 89 per cent of its eligible population has now had at least one dose.
"St John is incredibly grateful to our major partner ASB for incentivising those who got their first dose, with their gift to St John. This generosity will enable us to acquire two new major incident welfare vehicles to provide our ambulance officers with much needed resources and to support their well-being during major incidents and periods of heightened workload."
The government hosted its Super Saturday vaxathon event this past weekend, aimed at encouraging as many Kiwis as possible to get vaccinated to boost overall rates. Just over 130,000 vaccinations were administered during this period, boosting the country's numbers to 85 per cent of the eligible population that have had at least one dose of the vaccine.
Ms Shortt says, "Achieving very high rates of vaccination is the best thing we can do to get back to some sense of normality and for business to be able to re-open and for us all to be able to reconnect.
"It's been great to see the number of people that have got out there this weekend to play their part, so we can all enjoy a great Kiwi summer."