< Back to all stories

Sandra’s sage advice

Sandra Erwin is an Aboriginal Health Worker in Mitchell in Western Queensland. 

She made the choice to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect herself and her loved ones. 

“I do have a respiratory illness,” Ms Erwin said. 

“So I thought it was important to protect myself, my family and also my community.” 

She’s keen to tell others that the COVID-19 jab, whichever you choose, is safe and not as scary as you think. 

Sandra admits she was a bit concerned when she drove the 90km form Mitchell to Roma to get her first jab. 

“Driving from Mitchell to Roma thinking about it all, I was sort of having a bit of anxiety cause I was a bit worried about what was going to happen,” she said.  

“The process was quite simple and smooth, everything was fine.  

“I didn’t feel scared, the nurses were very nice and kept me calm.  

“I asked questions. If they can’t answer for you, they will get the doctor to come and talk to you as well.” 

Sandra also commented that COVID-19 will eventually come to remote communities and if they aren’t prepared, there will be big problems very fast. 

“Remote communities have got this mindset, that I hear this conversation a lot is, ‘it’s not gonna come out here, we’re not gonna get it,’” she said. 

“And I think people just need to understand it just takes one person to bring it in. “ 

“It’s that contagious that it only takes one to bring down a community.” 

Speaking about the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Western NSW, Sandra said friends and family in the region were frightened about the outbreak and the speed of its growth. 

She said communities also need to prepare themselves for if they get locked down. 

“A case there (in Western NSW), a young mum with kids got told they were a contact and got told they couldn’t leave the house so she wasn’t prepared for that.  

“So, they had to try and organise, and the dramas that they went through to get supports.  

“Shopping. When you’ve got kids, especially when they’re home, they eat more so you need to be prepared if it comes in.  

“Also, maybe that you look at some kind of action plan for community to make sure that things are put in place if they do have to be locked down.” 

If you would like more information, or to book an appointment contact Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Limited.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and sea where we live and work, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

Privacy Policy

© Copyright 2021, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Queensland Health and the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health. All rights reserved.