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Org lauds govt COVID-19 vaccination info drive for linguistically diverse communities

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COVID-19 vaccination

Settlement Services International (SSI) was all praises for the Federal Government’s plan to roll out a $31 million COVID-19 vaccination public information campaign, particularly the additional $1.3 million targeted at peak multicultural organisations to help reach culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities across the country.

“As a community-based organisation supporting new migrants and other vulnerable communities who often grapple with the English language, we wholeheartedly agree that the government’s new COVID-19 vaccination campaign will help reach diverse audiences,” SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said in a media statement.

“It’s reassuring to hear that the government’s campaign is intended to reach Australians across multiple online and traditional channels, including working with grassroots organisations to ensure that CALD communities that are harder to reach, will be targeted through direct messages,” Roumeliotis said.

“We welcome the government’s efforts to have materials appropriately translated, which are also culturally sensitive, ensuring everyone in Australia has a full understanding of the vaccination program,” she said.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Greg Hunt, said that making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia is a key priority for the Australian Government, including extending free access to all visa-holders in Australia.

This 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.

Related: $5 for rollout needed for every $1 spent on vaccines, report shows

Hunt also announced that the campaign will make use of a variety of channels, including regular website updates, social media, health professionals, community and grassroots organisations, networks, and the media. Moreover, the advertising will be made in 32 languages and will be distributed to radio, print, and social media, among others.

Meanwhile, a series of short videos explaining the vaccine rollout is also in the works. Hunt said the videos will come in more than 60 languages. These products will be provided to multicultural peak bodies and networks and available online.

“The Australian Government is confident, given Australia’s current high vaccination rates, everyone able to take up the vaccine will do so in high numbers,” Hunt said.

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