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27 July, 2021

Don't believe fake news when it comes to vaccine

Health authorities are urging residents of the Torres Strait, Northern Peninsula Area and Cape York to rely only on trusted sources for accurate information about vaccination.


Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service chief executive Beverley Hamerton said misinformation and rumours about vaccination abounded on social media channels.

“As one example, we are seeing some social media posts in the Torres Strait claiming that vaccination turns people into human magnets,’’ she said.

“Of course, this is not the case, but some people read this misinformation and are worried.

“Let’s be clear, the only superpower that vaccination gives you is to protect you, your family and your community against COVID-19.

“When it comes to your health, it’s important that you get your information from the sources you can trust.

“Don’t rely on the wild, false and misleading claims that circulate on social media.

“If you’ve heard something about vaccination that concerns you, please talk to your doctor, visit your local primary healthcare centre, or talk to our vaccination teams when we’re in your community.

“This is especially important in view of the case of a Mareeba resident who had been in Melbourne and who has tested positive to COVID-19.

“This case should bring home to everyone in the Torres Strait, NPA and Cape York how easy it is for COVID-19 to enter a community.

“We have been lucky so far that we have had no local cases of COVID-19.

“But we cannot rely on luck to continue protecting us.

“Vaccination is the best and only way to protect our communities. While no vaccine is 100 per cent effective, current evidence shows that people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine have a much lower chance of developing more serious symptoms from the virus, compared to those who did not get the vaccine.

“So please, do the right thing for yourself, for your family and for your community and get vaccinated when our immunisation teams come to your community.”

VACCINE RATES RISING

TORRES and Cape Hospital and Health Service delivered 463 vaccinations last week at Badu and Mer islands. All were mostly second doses of Pfizer.

So far, nearly 67 per cent of the eligible population of the Torres Strait islands has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, whether Pfizer or AstraZeneca, and about 41 per cent of the eligible population is now fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.

On Thursday Island alone, about 52.5 per cent of the eligible population is now fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID–19 vaccine, and about 68.5 per cent have received one dose.

“This week, we will deliver the second dose of Pfizer to residents of Warraber and Poruma islands, the St Paul’s and Kubin communities on Moa Island,” Ms Hamerton said.

“The following week we will be back on Ugar (Stephen) for second dose Pfizer, then we are travelling to various outer islands to give second dose Pfizer for those that had their first dose, and from 5-6 August we will be on Mabiuag for the first dose of Pfizer.”


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