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The time is now to get your vaccine

Belinda Jackson is a health worker with Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns. She was born and raised in Yarrabah and has been a health worker for five years and at Wuchopperen for two.

Just like a lot of her friends and family, she was initially sceptical about getting vaccinated.

But after training to become a vaccinator, she was armed with enough information about the virus and the jab to make the decision that it was right for her.

“It made me think a bit more about how it will affect my people,” Ms Jackson said.

“Having a lot of family members that do have chronic illnesses, I guess that was one of the biggest reasons why I decided to get vaccinated myself.

“To protect my family.”

Belinda thinks the key to getting mob protected is making sure there’s more accurate information out there.

“We have a lot of people who know, they say, ‘I know, I’m coming in, I know I got to have this thing.’” She said.

“But then you do have a lot of hesitancy. They’re saying, ‘oh, I don’t know. Such and such told me to come in but I’m not sure. I’ve got diabetes, I’ve got kidney problems.’

“And I say that’s all the more reason why you should. Because we have a higher prevalence of chronic disease in our communities, that’s more of a reason why we should be vaccinated.

“I just tell them straight out, ‘if this virus comes to our community, it’s not going to be good.’”

Belinda said Wuchopperen is made up of a diverse range of health professionals who can answer any question people have about getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

“We have health workers here that can have a yarn with you, talk about your worries and concerns. Cause we also felt the same things before we got vaccinated. We all had the same concerns.”

Belinda believes now is the time to get vaccinated.

“We don’t want to be rushing at the last minute,” she said.

“We don’t know when it’s going to come. We don’t know if it’s going to be different. It’s just better to be vaccinated now and be prepared if it does come this way.

“I have heard of other indigenous communities overseas that have been hit pretty hard. They’ve lost a lot of elders and storytellers and community.

“That was another reason why I thought we needed to get vaccinated.”

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.

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