Over 60 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Queensland attended our second Q&A session on COVID-19 vaccinations. Health Consumers Queensland hosted a panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health leaders to answer questions from the community.
79 people registered and close to 100 attended (some joined in pairs or groups). People registered from across Queensland: Mt Isa, Bamaga, Tambo, Cooktown, Ipswich, Whitsundays. Many of the people who registered were elders, or people living with complex health needs, or staff who work in health services across Queensland. Their questions reflect what matters to them and their community.
Many questions were asked in the chat about the COVID-19 vaccination and we didn’t get a chance to answer all of them. We have created a summary of the questions and concerns raised, grouped into themes.
Ms Haylene Grogan, Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer, Deputy Director-General Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Queensland Health. Haylene is a very proud Kuku Yalanji and Tagalaka woman with Italian heritage. Haylene has extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy development, having held executive positions in the Queensland, New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments.
Dr Mark Wenitong is from the Kabi Kabi tribal group of South Queensland, and has worked in government, peak bodies and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled sector both in clinical roles on the ground and leadership roles in the sector, for many years.
Associate Professor James Ward is a Pitjantjatjara and Narungga man, and a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. He is currently the Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Professor within the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland, and also has a key role in providing advice to the Commonwealth Minister for Health on the immunisation program for COVID-19 vaccines as they become available in Australia as a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) COVID-19 Working Group.
Associate Professor Margie Danchin is an immunisation expert with over ten years experience in vaccine research and clinical work, both in Australia and in resource poor settings. Her research program is focused on improving vaccine confidence, demand and uptake of licensed vaccines in different settings and populations