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COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

COVID-19 is still spreading in NSW. The COVID-19 vaccines can help protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from getting really sick from the virus. It helps protect the community, Elders, family and friends.

What to do

The first vaccination dose is the most important dose. Even one dose of vaccine gives good protection against hospital admission and death, however, it is important to get both doses. If you have not done so, get your first dose now and schedule your second.

It is strongly recommended Aboriginal people aged 12 years and over get vaccinated as soon as you can.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and free.

Two doses of either COVID-19 vaccine give you around 90% protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. Two doses reduce the spread by about 90%.

There’s good reason to act

COVID-19 can cause serious illness and death, and you can’t predict who will get very unwell. This is not just about your parents and Elders – this is about you, your friends, and your community.

COVID-19 isn't just an older person's disease – many young people are becoming sick. Over 80% of Aboriginal people who now have COVID-19 are under 40 years.

The sooner you are protected, the sooner everyone can bounce back. Let’s get visitors to our regions, open borders, travel overseas, family back home and our state back to business. Get vaccinated as soon as you can.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

All vaccines in Australia are tested to make sure they are safe. They have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This organisation approves all vaccines and medicines before they can be used in Australia. The TGA looked at all the test results from COVID-19 vaccine trials throughout the world to make sure they are safe.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation also provided advice to health authorities on the use of the COVID-19 vaccines. And all organisations continue to monitor things closely.

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What will happen when we get vaccinated for COVID-19?

When we get the COVID-19 vaccine, our immune system responds so that it is ready to protect us if we come into contact with COVID-19. The vaccine might not stop us getting COVID-19, but it helps stop us from getting really sick if we do. It works in the same way as the flu vaccine.

After we have the COVID-19 vaccination, we might feel some side effects. This might include aches and pains and a slight fever or tiredness. But the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risk of any rare side effects. If we are concerned about any side effects, we should talk to our doctor.

The COVID-19 vaccination needs two doses, which means we need to go to two appointments. Our doctor or health clinic will tell us when to get our second dose.

It’s okay to have the COVID-19 vaccine before or after our flu vaccine. They just need to be seven days apart.

How do we find out more information about COVID-19 vaccination?

You can talk to your GP, Aboriginal Medical Service or Aboriginal Health Worker about what is best to help protect you. They can provide information about the COVID-19 vaccines, how to book our vaccination and what to expect. You can also find more information at the NSW Government website.

COVID safe behaviours are still an important part of our defence

COVID safe behaviours are still important. It is important to keep practicing these behaviours, even after you have been vaccinated.

You can all help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Getting vaccinated
  • Getting tested immediately if you have any signs of COVID-19 and staying home until you get a negative test result
  • Carrying a face mask with you when you leave your home. Check the mask rules which apply in your area.
  • Keep checking in and out of venues. You can do this through the Service NSW app or ask the venue for an alternate form of check-in if you don’t have a smart phone.
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance from people you do not live with. The current Delta variant is more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants. Wear a mask whenever you can’t keep your distance from others and when indoors away from your home.

We will help stay COVID safe if we work together for our family, our Elders and our whole community.

Further Information

COVID-19 rules
COVID-19 information

To obtain a hard copy of the COVID-19 vaccination program communication toolkit for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, please contact City of Ryde's Coordinator - Community Development on 9952 8222. 

Last updated on 15 November 2021