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Australia Multilingual women are countering vaccine hesitancy in Victoria's culturally diverse communities

00:56  16 may  2021
00:56  16 may  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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For the Black community , historical distrust makes their concerns even greater.” Inside the attempt to build trust about the COVID-19 vaccine in Black communities . It’ s time that we talk about all of the ways that others are working to undo that damage. Boosting Vaccine Confidence in Multicultural Patient “To address distrust and vaccine hesitancy among racial and ethnic minorities, health information should be developed and delivered by sustained partnerships with community organizations trusted and respected by the target audience to support vaccine decision making.

Countering Vaccine Hesitancy . Kathryn M. Edwards, Jesse M. Hackell and THE COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES, THE COMMITTEE ON PRACTICE AND AMBULATORY MEDICINE. (do not perceive a need for a vaccine or do not value the vaccine ), and convenience (access).”11 Vaccine - hesitant individuals are a heterogeneous group who hold varying degrees of indecision about specific vaccines or about vaccinations in general. Vaccine - hesitant individuals may accept all vaccines but remain concerned about them, they may refuse or delay some vaccines but accept

Rachel Chung came to Victoria from Malaysia last year to study.

But within two weeks of her arrival, the state was in lockdown as coronavirus cases started to climb.

"I had high hopes of getting a job while at university, so I set myself a goal of sending out two resumes every day," she said.

"But unfortunately, I couldn't get any work due to the pandemic and that was very hard on me."

The student speaks three languages: Mandarin Chinese, Malay and English.

She had given up finding a job, let alone one in the field she is studying: public health.

Then a new opportunity came up for multilingual migrant women to educate their communities about the vaccine rollout.

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Vaccine hesitancy , also known as anti- vaccination or anti-vax, is a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one' s children vaccinated against contagious diseases.

Vaccine Hesitancy Is Common and on the Rise. Over the past 20 years, U. S . residents—and in particular, parents of young children—have reported increasing concerns about vaccine safety, the number of vaccines included in the routine childhood immunization schedule, and purported links (repeatedly proved Culturally tailored outreach and promotion campaigns that acknowledge this history and actively seek to rebuild trust among marginalized communities will be needed to ensure that the benefits of vaccination are available to all, and to help mitigate disparities that already exist.

Ms Chung is one of 50 women who lost work during the pandemic hired by the Victorian government to travel to communities across the state to give seminars, hold Zoom sessions, doorknock public housing and answer questions about the vaccine, the virus and other health issues in their own language.

"There is so much hesitancy about the vaccine in my community and also misinformation," she said.

"There are a lot of things we need to set straight, so they are more confident in getting the vaccine."

Last year the Victorian government was heavily criticised for not doing enough to engage with multicultural communities, who were disproportionately affected with the virus during the deadly second wave.

"Vaccine confidence is very low amongst women … for migrant women it's the problem of not having access to the information," Adele Murdolo, executive director for the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health said.

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Articles on Vaccine hesitancy . Displaying 1 - 20 of 77 articles. Luis Ascui/AAP. Our well-meaning efforts to use images to help demystify the vaccination process or share our pride in getting a COVID vaccine can backfire. A healthcare worker administers an Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to her colleague at Mutuini Hospital in Nairobi. Kenya on March 3, 2021.

Use of the word “ hesitancy ” implies that people are just not sure if they should get the vaccine , when the reality is that most of them are beyond a shadow of a doubt sure that they will not be getting vaccinated under any circumstances. A Gallup Poll from late last year found that roughly half of America is not going to get vaccinated . There was even a paper published in the Helpdesk Report about “ vaccine hesitancy ” and strategies Big Pharma and corrupt lawmakers can employ to overcome it. Does one of these strategies including hiding microscopic vaccines inside PCR testing swabs?

Speaking in language to migrant communities boosts trust

Since the vaccine roll-out began, misinformation has been putting Australia's diverse communities as risk.

"There is a lot of opportunity for mixed messages in migrant communities … but those communities are not anti-vaxxer, they often just don't have access to accurate information," Dr Murdolo said.

"Even though information was being translated into different languages, it was just sitting on websites and during the COVID shutdown we were unable to reach many migrant women through digital or social media, particularly in public housing."

She said the more accurate information Victoria could get to migrant women where they lived and worked, the more they were able to make decisions about their own health and wellbeing.

Victoria's Employment Minister Jaala Pulford said it was important people obtained their information from a reliable source.

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The Victorian Multicultural Commission is the voice of Victoria ’ s culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and is the main link between them and the government. VMC operates under the Multicultural Victoria Act 2011 as an independent statutory authority. We have 12 commissioners: a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, a You th Commissioner, a representative of a community organisation and eight other members. What we do: •provide honest and candid advice to the government on multicultural affairs and citizenship in Victoria •state-wide consultations via a network

To understand and address vaccine hesitancy and the roots of medical mistrust among Black Americans, look to the U. S . Public Health Service Study at Tuskegee—but not as an isolated event. One thing that' s needed to make this happen is trust—for predominantly white institutions to trust Black physicians and Black researchers to implement the cultural approaches they know will work with Black communities , said Kim Gallon, PhD, associate professor of history at Purdue University and founder and executive director of COVID Black, a collective and an early response taskforce on Black health.

"You don't have to go very deep into the internet to find some crazy conspiracy theory," she said.

"But when we are talking about something that is not only keeping us safe but also our loved ones and vulnerable members of the community, people who aren't able to tune into the health ministers conference need to be able to get that vital information."

Truganina woman Nicki Duang lost her job at Australia Post during the pandemic last year and has been hired by the Victorian government as a multilingual health educator.

She speaks Arabic, Dinka and English, only learning the latter when she came to Australia from South Sudan as an eight-year-old.

"It's very, very important to get the health message in your own language, because you trust it more if it comes from someone that speaks your language," she said.

"There has been a lot of misunderstanding and that's because the research is mainly done by certain organisations and you don't see your own kind in the research, so you feel like your community is missing out on important information."

Ms Duang will be joined by Sohola Safdari when they start work next week.

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Ms Safdari will work with the Afghan community to share key health messages across cultural and language barriers.

"We will mainly be giving them all the general information about the vaccines, the vaccines that are available in Australia," she said.

"We will also be talking about the side effects, the positive impacts on people and also who is eligible for the vaccine."

CEO of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Carmel Guerra, said the program was desperately needed 12 months ago.

"It would've been great if it was running already, but I think we need to congratulate [the government] for the fact they have learnt from last year and have now put things in place," she said.

"Even though the government has extensively tried to get information out, there is a lot of confusion and I'm not sure we are reaching everyone who needs it."

Dr Murdolo said the latest program was only short-term.

"When we look six months down the track, we don't actually have an extension of that infrastructure," she said.

"We need to think about how we set up good health promotion with migrant communities in the long term."

The Victorian government has partnered with Multicultural Centre for Women's Health and nine other women's health organisations to deliver information in a range of languages.

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