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Mario hates needles but hates COVID-19 more

 After a horrible experience as a child, Mario Assan hates getting needles. 

But after receiving a heap of factual information from Queensland Health through his job as a Senior Public Health Officer on Thursday Island, Mario made the choice to get the COVID-19 jab. 

“Well I do have a phobia about needles, I’m really scared of getting needles. I’m not ashamed to say that,” Mr Assan said. 

“I did have a bad experience when I was younger, when I was in hospital.  

“But I guess, through my job and as a health professional myself, I felt I really had to just bite the bullet and toughen up a bit and get the needle,” Mr Assan said. 

The process was over quick, and he knew that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best option to protect himself, his family and his community.  

Now, Mario is happy to talk to anyone who wants more information about the vaccine because he knows it’s the best way to dispel misinformation circulating on social media. 

“I guess personally, I’ve had that conversation with family and friends.  

“Especially ensuring that my immediate family do have the factual information.  

“That when I did talk to them, not to convince them, but to encourage them to come along when they had the vaccine rollout on Thursday Island to get their vaccination.  

“And encouraging friends as well.  

“I wouldn’t say I was trying to change their mind or whatever. But giving them that factual information in terms of – this is what the vaccine can do for yourself, to keep you healthy.  

“And if they make up their mind with that factual information, whether they get the vaccine or not, it’s basically up to them,” he said. 

Mario thinks that people shouldn’t feel forced into getting vaccinated, but they need to have an understanding of what information is real, and what is just designed to promote an agenda. 

“If you’re still undecided about getting vaccinated, I would talk to your health professional.  

“Whether that’s a nurse, a health worker, or a doctor to get that factual information. And then you can make up your mind.  

“But it’s really, really important that you get that factual information.  

“Because if you base your beliefs off social media, off negative press, off Facebook or even what your friends are telling you, you’re at higher risk of getting really really sick.”   

If you would like more information contact NPA Family and Community Services or Torres Health.

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