Vaccination experts weigh in on how we can get to 80 per cent COVID jabs

15 September 2021

Director of UQ's Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Professor James Ward featured in an ABC Online article discussing the COVID-19 vaccination goals for Australia. 

Professor James Ward, agreed that access would be a key challenge to meeting the targets in the national plan.

"There are certain portions of the population that will be able to reach 70 per cent, but I err that there are many segments of the population that will take a lot longer to get to 70 per cent," he said.

"Typically, those populations are people who are usually disenfranchised from health services, are marginalised, they're priority populations that have underlying other determinants of health that impact on their access to health care.

"It's simple things like prioritising getting to a vaccination site versus food, trying to accommodate additional people who might be isolating in your area.

"There's lots of other additional costs that occur in these outbreak settings, people have lost jobs, people are trying to help other people."

Professor Ward said along with continuing the financial support on offer for people affected by COVID outbreaks, there also needed to be more vaccination locations in large workplaces and in regional and remote areas.

"We need to scale up our sites where people can access the vaccines," he said.

"A lot of the jurisdictions have put a lot of effort into creating vaccine hubs, they're OK in the major cities but what about regional and remote populations?

"And what happens if those populations are not there when the fly-in, fly-out workforce is in those communities?"

Read the article