COVID-19 more dangerous than the AstraZeneca vaccine, NSW Health tells multicultural communities

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NSW Health’s Dr. Jan Fizzell and NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward fronted a weekly conference with multicultural media on Wednesday. 

Australia’s vaccination rollout remained the primary topic of discussion as the state’s daily cases of COVID-19 continue to climb. 

Dr. Jan Fizzell reminded the Greek Herald that people who would like to protect their families from COVID-19 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine now with or without a booking. 

“Some workers (including border workers and health care workers) have had their families invited to come forward and be immunised because they’re at high risk,” Dr. Fizzell says. 

She adds that the “small risk with the AstraZeneca vaccine” pales in comparison to “the very definite risk of COVID-19 infection”. 

“If you are offered the vaccine and over 18, the best vaccine to get is the one that you can get in your arm.” 

Minister Natalie Ward added that there is “no greater endorsement” of the AstraZeneca vaccine than from the state’s chief health officer Dr. Kerry Chant. 

The pair went on to say they were “heartbroken” and “disappointed” at anti-lockdown protests in Sydney last weekend, with Dr. Fizzell taking the opportunity to remind the risks it posed in overwhelming the health care system.

“The equivalent of one of our big hospitals would have their entire intensive care unit full at the moment if we put all the COVID cases in one place,” Dr. Fizzell says. 

“That’s a whole lot of beds that aren’t available for a whole lot of people who may need them.”

“There were more than 10,000 calls to Crime Stoppers about people who attended the protests, which is proof that the community absolutely rejects the actions of those people, Minister Ward added. 

Minister Ward went on to promote the state’s pilot program of live interpretation of the daily COVID-19 public heath conferences in languages other than English and the NSW government’s $6 million funding package for asylum seekers in need of emergency support.

Ward says she is open to the idea of an elderly bubble, similar to the singles bubble, to facilitate care for elderly family members, with Fizzell reiterating NSW Health’s preference for a single designated carer.  

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