NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines

feature tile text 'update on Australia's COVID-19 vaccines' teenage Aboriginal girl with mask being administered vaccination by health professional with gloved hands, white coat sleeves on wrists

Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines 

Free, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help protect our community from COVID-19.

A staged rollout of the vaccines will commence in February 2021. The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be managed through 30 to 50 key hospitals across urban, regional and rural Australia. Provisional approval of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is currently expected in February by the Therapeutics Good Administration (TGA).

Approved vaccines will be rolled out in phases. It is important that the first vaccines go to the people who need them most. The rollout will start with priority groups such as health workers, quarantine and border workers and some other services. Aged care and disability care residents will also be included in this first phase.

As you may know, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have been identified as a priority group for vaccination. This is because there is a higher risk of getting and developing serious illness from COVID-19 due to a number of factors. This may include a higher rate of chronic health conditions and in some cases crowded-living conditions, which increases the risk of spreading the infection.

The Australian Government is working closely with state and territory governments and NACCHO to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are easily accessible to everyone, including remote communities.

The vaccine is free, and you can choose if you want to get vaccinated. However, by getting it, you will help protect yourself, Elders, your loved ones and your community from COVID-19.

Rest assured that the approved vaccines will be safe and effective. Australia’s medicines regulator, the TGA, has strict standards when approving vaccines.

The TGA will continue to check vaccines for quality as they are produced. Health care services and the TGA will also continue to check for any unexpected side-effects following vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccines are just one part of keeping the community safe and healthy. People and communities have done a great job so far in staying COVIDSafe. It will be essential to continue practising COVIDSafe behaviours. This includes regularly washing your hands and keeping two big steps away from others.

Learn more at the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines hub and subscribe to the COVID-19 Vaccines Update.image from DoH community engagement kit vector image of 8 COVID-19 VACCIN vials; text 'COVID-19 Vaccination Safe. Effective. Free. BE COVIDSAFE

COVID-19 Vaccination Community Engagement Kits

The Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) in collaboration with NACCHO have prepared a community engagement kit that has useful information on what the Government is doing to deliver COVID-19 vaccines.

To support communication with your stakeholders, networks and communities, a suite of resources have been developed, including:

  • newsletter article content
  • social media content
  • a script for videos
  • an editorial example
  • a poster
  • radio and social media advertising content.

Here is a guide that will provide you with the list of resources that are available in the COVID-19 vaccination community engagement kit.

To download the entire kit of resources click here.

vector images of COVID-19 Vaccine bottle with an orange tick against a circle of Aboriginal art, map of Australia with Aboriginal art filling map against orange circle; outline of 6 people against circle of Aboriginal art, text 'COVID-19 Vaccination Safe. Effective. Free.'

Social media asset: A vaccine is the best way to protect Australians. Image source: Australian Government Department of Health.

In this video Professor Tom Calma AO talks about how COVID-19 has changed our lives and why we need the added protection of vaccines for COVID-19.