Northland DHB chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain was shocked to hear that he was at the centre of a nasty rumour spread by anti-vaxxers that he had a severe heart attack following a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Dr Chamberlain is happy to dispel rumours that even reached his daughter in Wellington and say he is alive and kicking and has not even had his booster dose.
Bookings don't open to those who had their second COVID-19 dose six months ago until tomorrow, 26 November.
He said this is yet another example of how dangerous statements from anti-vaxxers can be, and this time it has affected Dr Chamberlain's whānau directly.
"I've also heard about people from Australia calling to check I was ok."
He encourages those feeling complacent or lacking confidence in the vaccine to speak with someone they trust to get reliable information.
"Don't rely on what you read on social media, please. Instead, speak to a member of your whānau or your local iwi or Māori Health Provider. Or make an appointment with your GP. They are offering FREE appointments to patients who have questions and concerns about the vaccine.
"Trust the science and make a decision one way or another. However, I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated.
"Yes, you can still get COVID-19 if you're vaccinated the same way you can still get pregnant if you use contraception and the same way you can die from a car accident if you use a seatbelt. That doesn't mean you're not going to use contraception or a seatbelt.
"The vaccine is not a cure. It's a layer of protection - up to 95 percent and protects you from getting severe symptoms from the virus so that you don't die.
"It also reduces the risk of spreading the virus so that other people you care about don't die. Unfortunately, we have seen from this latest outbreak how quickly this virus has spread within our region, and we need our population to get vaccinated before our borders open."