Vaccination rates up within Albany’s Indigenous population but still a long way to go

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
File picture of a dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
Camera IconFile picture of a dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. Credit: Brett Coomer/AP

Indigenous COVID-19 vaccination figures are lagging 30 per cent behind the general population in the City of Albany ahead of WA’s border reopening.

Figures released by the Federal Government this week revealed 59.9 per cent of the City of Albany’s Indigenous population aged 15 and over were double vaccinated as of Tuesday.

The single-dose rate for Indigenous people was 74.7 per cent.

The figures come after the broader City of Albany cracked the 90 per cent double vaccination rate earlier this week for residents aged 15 and over.

In November, the WA Government launched a five-week campaign to boost vaccination rates among WA’s Aboriginal population.

At the time, Albany’s Indigenous vaccination rates mimicked trends seen across the State lagging far behind the overall average at 40.3 per cent fully vaccinated as of November 23.

The alarming rates prompted a push from Menang Noongar elders, the Great Southern Aboriginal Health Service and Great Southern police for the region’s First Nations people to protect themselves against COVID-19.

A WA Health spokesman said the Keeping Culture Safe and Strong: Vaccination Focus program would continue in metropolitan and regional WA.

“As part of this program, WA Health and WA Police teams are engaging with communities at the grass roots, talking face to face and one on one with people and including house to house visits and offering vaccinations to hospital in patients and outpatients,” he said.

“Local community stakeholders such as health staff, the local police, local shires and Aboriginal lead organisations will be yarning to community members and continue to help them with access to vaccinations.”

The spokesman said everyone had a responsibility to protect Aboriginal people and communities by getting vaccinated.

“Increasing vaccination rates among these vulnerable communities is of the utmost importance and is a key area of focus for the WA Vaccine Program,” he said.

Visit rollup.wa.gov.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails