Elders and teens from Queensland's Indigenous communities push back against vaccine hesitancy to boost immunisation rates

10 September 2021

Aboriginal elders and teenagers are leading the push to get more people in Queensland's Indigenous communities vaccinated, but the biggest challenge is dispelling myths and misinformation about the vaccine.

James Ward from the University of Queensland's Poche Centre for Indigenous Health says the lagging vaccination rates are leaving communities extremely vulnerable.

"There have been Aboriginal deaths attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak in western New South Wales," he said.

"While we still have very low vaccination rates in communities across Australia, we are going to be susceptible to the same level of outbreaks and the same level of consequences."

Professor Ward said the state and federal health departments were now focused on a fly-in fly-out model of sending vaccines and healthcare workers into regional and remote areas.

"I saw 500 people got vaccinated in Broome in Western Australia, one of the most remote areas in Australia," he said.

"If places like that can do it, the rest of us can do it as well."


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