From the CEO
Cath Scarth, AMES Australia CEO
As we all endure another COVID lockdown that has just entered its second week, the importance of getting as many Australians as possible vaccinated is front of mind.
It’s important that people from diverse and emerging communities are included in the vaccine roll out and it’s a challenge for us at AMES Australia to do our part to make sure this happens.
We know from research in the UK and other places that people from some diverse communities are proportionately at greater risk of serious illness, or worse, from the COVID-19 virus.
And we know that in some of these communities there are higher levels of vaccine hesitancy.
Our own preliminary surveys show that just 65 per cent of Australians from migrant or refugee backgrounds say they are likely to get a vaccine; about five per cent lower than the figure for all Australians.
Perhaps more importantly, the surveys show that only half of people from diverse communities say they feel they have enough information about both the benefits of getting vaccinated and how to go about it.
And a little disturbingly about half said they were getting their information second-hand from social media or friends and relatives.
With this in mind, we at AMES are using all of our channels, resources and contacts in communities to push critically important messages about the importance of getting vaccinated and how and where to do that.
I would urge everyone to encourage members of diverse communities, and everyone else for that matter, to think about getting vaccinated and to share reliable and accessible information about the vaccines.
Information about the vaccine rollout and safety is available in different languages here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/translated-information-about-covid-19-vaccines
And more information is available here: Translated resources | Australian Government Department of Health
I’m proud of the way AMES Australia staff have supported each other through these extraordinarily challenging times; and I’m deeply impressed and grateful for the way in which we have all worked so hard to find new and innovative ways to support our clients and their communities.
Contributing to the effort to get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible is just one more of our challenges.
4 June 2021