Redcliffe Hospital ‘Special Saturdays’ supporting First Nations families with COVID-19 vaccination

Queensland Government media release

The Redcliffe Hospital community vaccination centre is hosting ‘special Saturdays’ over the next six weeks to support local First Nations families to get vaccinated.

Starting from Saturday, 21 August 2021, the Moreton Bay Integrated Care Centre based at the Redcliffe Hospital campus will accept walk ins for First Nations people from 10am to 2.30pm. These hours will be extended if there is further demand.

The walk-in vaccination clinics will run each Saturday until approximately 25 September 2021.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the targeted vaccination push was a combined effort of the Queensland Government, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) as part of a new campaign to encourage more First Nations people to get vaccinated.

“Today we officially launched the Make the Choice campaign, which aims to help address the gap in vaccination rates between First Nations people and the general population,” Minister D’Ath said.

“The overall vaccination rate for First Nations people is almost half the vaccination rate of non-First Nations people. This campaign will be important to get the message out into the community – Make the Choice and get vaccinated.

“We know that due to a higher incidence of chronic and underlying conditions, First Nations people are more likely to develop serious illness if they are infected with COVID-19. Vaccination offers the best protection against COVID-19.

“All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, youth and adults aged 12 and over are now eligible to receive their vaccination at a Queensland Health vaccination centre or their local community-controlled health service.

“If you live in the Moreton Bay Region, please go along to our Saturday walk in clinics. You can choose to get eligible members of your family vaccinated all at the same time. You just have to walk in, there’s no need to book.

“If you can’t make it to one of the upcoming walk-in clinics, register you interest to receive the vaccination at another Queensland Health vaccination centre, or book at your local health service.

“We’re also looking at offering more of these dedicated clinics at other locations across the state as the rollout continues,” she said.

The Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Queensland Health Deputy Director-General, Haylene Grogan, said the Make the Choice campaign was a collaborative effort.

“It is made by our mob, for our mob, to protect our mob. It also importantly complements and supports local and regional campaigns,” Ms Grogan said.

“I am pleased to see creative and innovative communications campaigns in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Sector. IUIH have also developed the “I STEPPED UP” advertising campaign in South East Queensland to promote vaccination uptake. The campaign aims to encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to STEP UP and Get Vaccinated.

“The campaign includes our Elders, leaders and sports people, sharing the reasons why they STEPPED UP and got vaccinated.

“To highlight the importance of the Make the Choice campaign and mark the start of the campaign, Jedess Hudson, a proud Ewamian and Western Yalanji woman of North Queensland designed a distinctive artwork titled “Our New World Together”.

“This artwork is broken up into different sections which shows the complexities and challenges that COVID-19 brings into our daily lives and highlights the connections and journey that both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures face.

“The Make the Choice campaign and associated activities will be recognisable by this distinctive artwork.

“I also want to acknowledge the leadership of several Metro North First Nations staff in being vaccinated and sharing their stories. They are the COVID-19 Champions willing to lead for their community and peers.

“Initiatives such as walk in Saturdays and the Make the Choice campaign will support Queenslanders in getting vaccinated.

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the impacts of COVID-19, including serious illness or death from the virus. Remember that getting vaccinated not only helps you, but also helps to protect your mob,” she said.

QAIHC Chairperson, Matthew Cooke, added that a showpiece of the Make the Choice campaign is a new website that has proudly been developed with the QAIHC.

“The website is filled with helpful and easy to understand information about COVID-19 vaccinations and the vaccination process to help inform the choice about getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” Mr Cooke said.

“It’s been specifically created by QAIHC for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Queensland clinicians and front-line workers in community health organisations and Hospital and Health Services.

“We know people want to read and hear information from trusted sources to help them make an informed choice about their health.

“Our message for every Queenslander that can be vaccinated is simple – make the choice and get vaccinated so we can work towards a pathway out of the pandemic.

“I’m proud to be involved in this new campaign to help First Nations people access reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Access to the Moreton Bay Integrated Care Centre at Redcliffe Hospital is off Anzac Avenue. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers will be at the Saturday clinics to help you and your family.

A walk in clinic for First Nations families will also run this Saturday at the Caboolture Square Shopping Centre community vaccination centre from 12pm to 4pm.

If you cannot make the Saturday walk in clinics, you can register for a COVID-19 vaccination on other days at the Vaccine Bookings website or phone 134 COVID (13 42 68).

Make the Choice is available here.