Keeping “our mob” safe at Mt Druitt health hub

More than 250 Aboriginal people, including children aged 12 to 15, have received their first COVID-19 vaccination at Mount Druitt Hospital’s Aboriginal Health Hub.

The dedicated outreach clinic, hosted by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), has been operating since July, and been booked solid ever since.

Care packs were also handed out to support families with learning at home during lockdown and every recipient received more information about remaining COVID-safe after being vaccinated.

WSLHD Aboriginal Health Strategy director Braiden Abala said he was encouraged by the overwhelming response from the community.

“People want to get vaccinated. It’s just a matter of making things culturally appropriate, targeted and easy to access, which is exactly what our clinics do,” Braiden said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the higher burden of other diseases. We really want to protect our elders and vaccination is part of that. By protecting yourself you help create a protective barrier for those around you.”

WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy said he was proud to see the District ensuring priority populations have access to COVID-19 vaccination – and was equally proud of the District Executive helping administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Our COVID-19 Vaccination Outreach Team has been doing incredible work to reach our diverse community, including Aboriginal people, new migrants and refugees, people with a mental illness, and those experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” Graeme said.

“Our health heroes have administered more than 400,000 vaccinations and each day they continue to work hard and innovate to keep all people in western Sydney safe from COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Nepean Police Area Command are still investigating the fire which damaged a COVID-19 testing clinic in North St Marys less than two weeks ago.

About 10.50pm (Saturday 28 August), emergency services found a demountable building well alight on Forrester Road, North St Marys.

A subsequent search of the surrounding area found “anti-vax” graffiti on a separate building. The cause of the fire is not yet determined; however, it is being treated as suspicious.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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