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NEW DATA REVEALS EXTENT OF MORRISON GOVERNMENT’S FIRST NATIONS VACCINE FAILURES

August 17, 2021

New data reveals the extent of the Morrison Government’s failure to roll out vaccines in First Nations communities.
 
It shows the two states with the largest First Nations populations – New South Wales and Queensland – are at critically low levels of vaccination.

Per cent of First Nations people fully vaccinated

 

Est. total pop 2020 *

No. fully vaccinated **

Per cent fully vaccinated

NSW

286,553

22,762

8

Vic

63,615

21,117

33

Qld

241,082

18,624

8

SA

45,926

3,397

7

WA

109,138

4,904

4

Tas

30,604

3,843

13

NT

78,596

8,946

11

ACT

8,414

1,278

15

Australia

863,928

84,871

10

 

This represents a complete failure by the Morrison Government to roll out the vaccine in First Nations communities, a lack of preparedness for transmission in communities and an absence of any coordination with community health providers. 
 
The Commonwealth is not only responsible for the vaccine rollout, it is responsible for the primary healthcare of First Nations people, which is why it directly funds First Nations community health organisations. 
 
This data shows that the Prime Minister’s rhetoric about First Nations people being a priority in the vaccine rollout is completely empty. First Nations, as part of phase 1B of the rollout, were supposed to be fully vaccinated by winter. 
 
The Morrison Government severely underestimates the community engagement and coordination required to roll out vaccinations in First Nations communities.
 
The release of the data follows pressure from Labor on the Morrison Government to publish vaccination rates in First Nations communities.
 
Strangely, the Government’s data dump last night did not include vaccination rates as a percentage of First Nations populations by jurisdiction, and now we know why.   
 
*The total (all ages) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for each territory/state in 2020 – published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
 
**The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people vaccinated according to the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Update for 16 August

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