VACCHO frustrated by COVID-19 vaccine data inaccuracies

Jun 4, 2021

The Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) is frustrated by inaccuracies in vaccination numbers for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Victoria.   

Errors in vaccine data collection managed by the Commonwealth Government, has led to an overrepresentation of the vaccine numbers of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Victoria. 

VACCHO understands Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) vaccine data inaccuracies have now been corrected – resulting in a change in the overall vaccination rates across the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Victoria. 

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher AO acknowledges the amended rates and believes accurate data will play a crucial role in helping refocus our efforts to get Community vaccinated.  

“It’s great to see a rapid acceleration of vaccination rates amongst the broader population in Victoria, however Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rates do not appear to be experiencing the same growth.” 

“With plans to reopen the state in the coming weeks, we need to ensure that the vaccine rates in our Communities are on par with the rest of the population of Victoria.” 

VACCHO is calling on all levels of government to provide additional resources so that we can get our community informed and vaccinated.   

“This is a call to action to all forms of government to not leave the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Victoria behind.” 

Accuracy in vaccine data is crucial in informing decisions VACCHO, as the peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across Victoria, makes in ensuring our community stays safe against COVID. 

“There are still many members of our community who are eligible to be vaccinated. We have to keep looking out for each other. We must continue to look after our families and our elders.” 

Vaccine data clarity confirms there is a lot of work to be done in the coming months to ensure our community gets vaccinated, and further iterates the importance of continuing COVID-safe practices, getting tested if you have symptoms, and talking to your GP should you have any questions or concerns. 

“Our ACCHOs and frontline health staff continue to work hard in protecting our community and it is a timely reminder that we persist to stay safe and strong during these challenging times.”   

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For media inquiries contact Michael Lynch on 0427 760 936

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BACKGROUND

VACCHO is the peak body for Aboriginal health and wellbeing in Victoria – the only one of its kind – with 32 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations as Members. VACCHO Members support over 25,000 Aboriginal people in Victoria, and combined are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the state.

VACCHO CEO Jill Gallagher believes it is time to create a new day that is inclusive for everyone.

“It is time for us to press the reset button and create a new day – a new date – a day where we can all celebrate and feel included. January 26 is not that day – January 26 hurts.”

“Change needs to be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with our voices at the forefront, but we need allies around us, and we need a focus on educating all Australians about the true history of this country.”

“We also need a bold and brave government to make this change. Last year we saw the government listen to Aboriginal leaders and free the flag – we must keep the momentum going and do something about this date.”

“The time for change is well and truly overdue and needs to happen now.”

 

NOTE: Your social and emotional safety is important. If this article has brought up any concerns or issues for you, please have a yarn with Yarnin Safe’n’Strong (1800 959 563) or 13YARN (13 32 16).

Media enquiries

For further media enquiries please email communications@vaccho.org.au or contact our media unit on (03) 9411 9411.

Background 

VACCHO is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in Victoria – the only one of its kind – with 32 Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations as Members. VACCHO Members support over 65,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria, and combined are the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the state.