State Government launches new program to help boost vaccination rates among Aboriginal people in WA

PIC: Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation

A new vaccination program, ‘Keeping Culture Safe and Strong’, has been launched to provide more opportunities for Aboriginal people to get vaccinated.

From next Monday, November 22, the COVID-19 vaccination program will start a five-week blitz to increase vaccination rates for Aboriginal people across WA.

A range of intensified in-reach programs based on bringing the vaccine directly to communities will be used as part of the focus, to make it easier for people to receive the vaccine.

The ‘Keeping Culture Safe and Strong: Vaccination Focus’ will cover the entire State, from urban to regional to remote communities.

The program will be community-led with the help of local leaders such as health staff, the local police, councils and shires, and Aboriginal-led organisations..

Strategies expected to be used during the five-week focus include house-to-house visits and vaccinations for hospital inpatients and outpatients.

Currently, vaccination rates for Aboriginal communities in WA are less than 50 per cent of the eligible population 12 and over having received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“While vaccinating Aboriginal communities was squarely a Federal Government responsibility, the State Government has stepped in along the way and now we’re stepping up efforts to ensure Aboriginal people can get vaccinated sooner to protect our people," Premier Mark McGowan said.

“COVID-19 will enter WA when we transition, it’s so important that everyone gets vaccinated, so they are protected from this deadly virus."

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