The Cronulla Sharks have been deeply involved in Indigenous programs within the Sutherland Shire and beyond for more than 10 years and are honoured to be hosting an Indigenous vaccination clinic at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday 14 November.
With Aboriginal people in NSW and the ACT heavily and disproportionately affected by Covid-19, there are genuine fears vaccination rates will not be high enough to withstand further outbreaks.
Ten per cent of all COVID-19 cases in NSW and the ACT are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, numbers that equate to the Indigenous community being affected at twice the rate of other Australians.
Therefore, in an effort to increase the vaccination rates and in a bid to improve wellbeing outcomes the Aboriginal Health Unit at the South-Eastern Sydney LHD (SESLHD) will partner with the Sharks by offering a walk in COVID19 Vaccination clinic at Pointsbet Stadium this Sunday, November 14.
Opening at 10am and running through until 2pm, the walk-in clinic is targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 and older, but everyone welcome. There will be giveaways of Sharks goodie bags, Deadly Choices merchandise, Coles vouchers and that who attend can go into the draw to win signed Sharks merchandise. In addition, there will be BBQ on the day, games for kids organised by Sharks Have Heart staff.
“We were approached as a result of Sharks reach and influence in the local community and due to the success of our Deadly Choices program and the work we have done previously in health check days, health promotion and initiatives to address vaccine hesitancy,” Sharks Indigenous Programs Coordinator Rachal Allan said.
“Restrictions are starting to ease and people are moving around in their communities more. If we want to keep our families and Elders safe while we enjoy the Christmas holidays or travel to see our families, it’s important that we get vaccinated to protect ourselves and our mobs,” she added.
While Tim Croft, Manager of the Aboriginal Health Unit at SESLHD, echoed Allan’s words in encouraging Indigenous people and other members of the local community to take advantage of the walk-in clinic being offered this weekend.
“‘There is still work to be done in our Aboriginal communities to get community members vaccinated so they and all their family are safe,” Croft said. “Please come down. If you have any questions on anything to do with the vaccination please ask our friendly Aboriginal health staff so you can hear all the evidence and make an educated choice.”
The significance of Sunday’s walk-in clinic comes amid fears that even after two months of “surge” efforts in 30 Indigenous communities, data indicates there is still plenty of work to do to ensure the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Figures reported in the The Guardian in supporting this concern, indicated there have been 7,000 cases, 700 hospitalisations, 80 people in ICU and 14 deaths among Aboriginal people during the past week (according to data from the National Aboriginal community controlled health organisation NACCHO).
The clinic will provide the Pfizer vaccines, for first or second doses, with the third booster shot also available.
Free parking is available across immediately adjacent to PointsBet Stadium in the council carpark at Captain Cook Field, as well as to the west at Solander Fields.