Aboriginal communities across Northern NSW will have extra access to COVID-19 vaccines thanks to a boost of 4,000 extra Pfizer doses supplied by the Commonwealth Government.
The doses will be progressively distributed throughout Aboriginal communities in a mobile vaccination clinic that will tour the area over the coming weeks.
The vaccination drive is a collaborative effort between local Aboriginal Medical Services, NSW Police, the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) and the Australian Defence Force and supported by local councils.
NNSWLHD Associate Director for Aboriginal Health, Kirsty Glanville praised the collaboration between the agencies and their shared commitment to supporting the health needs of Aboriginal people through improved access to vaccines.
“Working together is the best way to share our expertise and knowledge to reach our communities and improve health outcomes,” Ms Glanville said.
“We’re also being supported by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Aboriginal Lands Council and National Indigenous Australians Agency on this journey which strengthens our ability to reach as many people as we can.”
Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Scott Monaghan, said the mobile clinic is an excellent solution to deliver vaccines in the community.
“The mobile clinic will bring the vaccine right to Aboriginal community members, removing barriers such as transport, which we know can make it difficult for people to access vaccinations,” Mr Monaghan said.
Richmond Police District Superintendent Scott Tanner said Police Aboriginal Liaison Officers will form part of the mobile team.
“Our Aboriginal staff have been in communities over the last couple of weeks, delivering care packages and having conversations with community members about the vaccine, and it’s great to see communities wanting to do all they can to protect their vulnerable community members and elders,” Superintendent Tanner said.
All Aboriginal people aged 12 and over are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Aboriginal people have had priority access to COVID-19 vaccines as part of the Commonwealth Government’s vaccine program across Australia.
Information will be provided directly to communities about when the clinic will visit them.