With communities in lockdown and cases on the rise, Greens call for urgent action to lift First Nations vaccination rates
With First Nations vaccination rates lagging across Western Australia and the state’s largest remote First Nations community now in lockdown, The Greens have today again called on the WA Government to lift vaccination rates for First Nations people.
With WA recording 617 new cases and Premier Mark McGowan warning of a new 1,000+ daily case total, vaccination rates for First Nations people are “disgraceful'', Yamatji-Noongar woman and Australian Greens Senator for WA Dorinda Cox said today.
The rate of double vaccinated First Nations people in Western Australia is reportedly sitting about 25 per cent below the overall state figure – at 70 per cent, compared to 95 per cent.
“It is disgraceful that into the third year of this pandemic, governments at all levels are still leaving First Nations people behind,” Senator Cox said today.
“As COVID numbers go up, our communities are more vulnerable than ever. First Nations people know what is best for our communities, and should be better supported in their health promotion efforts to get more vaccines in the arms of vulnerable people. Aboriginal-led health organisations are best placed to lead on this.
“The Liberals botched the vaccine rollout last year, but with case numbers on the rise, there is absolutely no reason for this level of incompetence to continue.”
It comes as seventeen people have tested positive in Bidyadanga since Wednesday - a community now in lockdown.
“As a Malgana woman, I am horrified to see that COVID has made its way into the Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community,” Bianca McNeair, Malgana woman, and Greens candidate for Durack said today.
“First Nations COVID vaccination rates in WA continue to lag behind the rest of the population, with some Aboriginal communities still less than 50 percent vaccinated.'
'It is disappointing that the major parties have failed to properly support our regional and remote health systems. The McGowan Government needs to do more to ensure First Nations communities are protected from COVID, especially once the domestic and international borders are lifted on March 3.”
Lisa Wills (Senator Cox) 0447 469 218 [email protected]