The Australian Government’s $31 million COVID-19 vaccination public information campaign started rolling out across the country. A further $1.3 million has been provided for peak multicultural organsations to assist them in reaching culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
“Making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia is a key priority for the Australian Government. That is why we are extending free access to COVID‑19 vaccines to all visa-holders in Australia,” Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.
Recipients to free vaccines will include refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders and those on bridging visas. People currently residing in detention facilities will also be eligible, including those whose visas have been cancelled.
“We know that Australia is a vaccination nation, and we trust this campaign will provide the assurance and motivation for everyone in Australia to have the COVID-19 vaccination,” Minister Hunt said.
A major roundtable involving more than 50 community leaders was held today to discuss how the communities and the government can partner together in supporting the vaccination rollout.
A comprehensive plan that includes communication activities and community engagement strategies have been developed in partnership with multicultural specialist agencies to reach people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The plan was developed upon the advice of the national CALD Communities COVID-19 Health Advisory Group.
The campaign aims to reach Australians through a range of channels including regular website updates, social media, health professionals and community and grass roots organisations, networks, and the media. It includes advertising in 32 languages across radio, print and social media, and will extend to communities that are harder to reach through traditional channels.
Messages will target specific multicultural groups to ensure everyone in Australia has a full understanding of the vaccination program. Many people working in sectors such as aged care will be in the first groups to be vaccinated and are from CALD communities, and it is critical that they receive translated information that is culturally appropriate.
Translated resources have been developed for multicultural communities, including radio and print editorials, a video development guide for community leaders to film their own videos, in-language web content, social media posts, posters, and newsletter articles. The Department of Health’s vaccine hub also has a translation button for 63 languages available on its website and on mobile devices.
The Government is working with SBS to finalise short videos explaining the vaccine rollout in more than 60 languages, and with the Migration Council of Australia to produce an animated vaccine explainer in 29 languages. These products will be provided to multicultural peak bodies and networks and available online.
As more information becomes available through expert medical advice and complete data sets from clinical trials, the Department will provide timely updates through its multicultural channels.
Given Australia’s current high vaccination rates, the Australian Government is confident that the vaccine take-up will be in high numbers.