As a nurse working in Wollongong Hospital's intensive care unit, Erin Tuala has seen the impact COVID-19 can have.
That is why she is lending her voice to the #vaxtheillawarra campaign, to encourage the region's residents to get their COVID jabs.
"From someone who has always had to be vaccinated to work, it's not about your freedom, it's not about other people having control over you, it's not a conspiracy," Ms Tuala said.
"It's about reducing the risk of spreading disease. Simple as that. A little jab in the arm is a small price to pay."
She described a patient who was just cleared of COVID after 17 days in intensive care, whose experience showed how badly the illness could affect the body.
"He is stoked to be cleared but still has a long way to go before he will even be able to be discharged from ICU," Ms Tuala said.
"He was celebrating with his family on FaceTime for about five minutes and it really took it out of him.
"It actually took him the whole day to recover his oxygen levels from that conversation."
She also said it was tough caring for COVID patients from outside the area, who were separated from family and friends.
As a mother too, she is afraid her children - who are too young to receive the vaccine - will contract the virus.
"They might get COVID and not get sick, but they also might pass it onto someone else who does get sick and will potentially die, or survive, but have a lifelong disability as a result," Ms Tuala said.
"It is the same with any vaccine, it's not just about you."
Staff across the entire hospital were feeling the strain COVID inflicted, she said, and it was also important to remember the people who needed care and treatment for other, non-COVID related conditions.
"The quicker we can get out the other side of this, the better it will be for everyone," Ms Tuala said.
Supporting Ms Tuala and the vaccination message is Captain Jab - otherwise known as Paul Tuala, Ms Tuala's husband - the official mascot of the #vaxtheillawarra campaign.
Captain Jab said his inspiration came from his childhood hero, Captain Planet, and his superpowers of wind, earth, fire, water, and heart.
"I know we all want to feel the earth while exploring the world again, or the warmth of fire while gathered around the BBQ with our family and friends," he said.
"Or maybe just some hear - because we could all use a good cuddle right now.
"This is why I got the vaccine. I wanted to do my part to fight COVID and hopefully get one step closer to seeing my family in New Zealand again."
While he was the one donning the superhero uniform, Captain Jab said the real heroes were people like his wife.
"It's important that we do our part to support our healthcare workers by getting the jab when we can," he said.