COVID-19 Vaccine Projects: Vaccine Rollout and Vaccine Voices

A screenshot of a zoom meeting, with three speakers in separate windows. The largest window features a speaker who is Filipino.

The Vaccine Voices and Vaccine Rollout projects are funded to address migrant and refugee communities’ concerns and information needs about COVID-19 vaccines.

We are reaching communities in ways that are effective and relevant:

  • delivering in-language information sessions and resources in various formats,
  • daily communication on our communities’ preferred social media platforms,
  • organising events, and
  • providing on-site support for community members when needed.

In addition to COVID-19 vaccine information, we also provide information to communities on many important women’s health topics, including:

  • preventing violence against women,
  • mental health and wellbeing, and
  • living safely with COVID-19.

Partnerships and collaboration

We work with health professionals from the Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese communities, city councils, community organisations, community groups and associations, including but not limited to:

  • Monash City Council,
  • Whitehorse City Council,
  • Darebin City Council,
  • Australian Chinese Medical Association of Victoria (ACMAV) and
  • Filipino Australian Student Council of Victoria (FASTCO),
  • Victorian Trades Hall Council COVIDSafe Workplaces Team
  • Vietnamese Australia Foundation (VAF), and
  • Women’s Health Loddon Mallee.

The vaccine projects are funded by the Victorian State Government.

A screenshot of a zoom webinar featuring four speakers. The largest speaker on the screen is a Vietnamese man. The other speakers are also Vietnamese.

How we are making a difference

Accurate facts about COVID-19 symptoms, treatment and vaccination are vital information for everyone. However currently, not all people in Australia can access the information they need to make informed decisions for their health and wellbeing.

In Victoria, the regions with high numbers of COVID-19 deaths in 2020 and 2021 (not including deaths in aged care) were home to some of largest numbers of non-English speaking communities in Melbourne.

Migrant and refugee community members are more likely to be severely impacted if they contract COVID-19.

Yet, COVID-19 vaccination rates among some migrant communities are currently lower than other communities. Key reasons for this include:

  • lack of updated, in-language information about COVID-19 vaccines
  • not knowing how to access the information, and
  • transport and other practical support to access information and services.

This is where our two vaccine projects are making a huge difference.

We address information needs and reduce community members’ concerns by:

  • providing updated, culturally appropriate information about COVID-19 vaccines, and
  • connecting people and families to services if needed.

Vaccine Rollout Program

The Vaccine Rollout Program has organised and conducted more than 80 in-language education sessions delivered by MCWH bilingual educators. Through the sessions, we have reached a wide range of migrant and refugee communities, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Tamil, Chaldean, Dari, and, Hindi.

Vaccine Voices Program

Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese community advisors have teamed up with health professionals from their own communities to deliver more than 20 engagement activities so far, including conducting online information sessions via ZOOM and/or Facebook livestream, daily communication and engagement with community members via their preferred social media platforms, developing and/or translating resources, and providing on-site support to community members during their vaccination.

Our impact

Our programs have increased the awareness of COVID-19 vaccines and its related knowledge among the community members and reduced their hesitancy and concerns.

COVID-19 Vaccine Projects Nov 2021A

“I have received valuable information about the vaccine types, side effects and effectiveness. I did not know the vaccine could lower the morbidity or getting severe symptoms that need hospitalization up to 0%”

COVID-19 Vaccination Project participant

COVID-19 Vaccine Projects Nov 2021B

“Before attending the session, I was refusing the idea of taking a new vaccine that I hear it has serious side effects. This session has changed my attitude as the vaccine is effective and safe.”

COVID-19 Vaccination Project participant