Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-op praised by Covid commander for vaccine efforts

89% of eligible Aboriginal people in the region have now been vaccinated

The Covid commander for Victoria in Australia, Jeroen Weimar, visited Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) last Thursday to commend the co-op’s vaccine administration work in the region.

BDAC is a multi-stakeholder co-op which offers a range of family, and health and wellbeing, services to the local Aboriginal community – which it affectionately calls its ‘Mob’. The co-op has now vaccinated 89% of the active indigenous population in the Greater Bendigo region, the Bendigo Advertiser has reported.

BDAC chief executive Raylene Harradine told the Advertiser that BDAC had been quick to respond to the community’s needs around the virus, and had set up a vaccination clinic on the site of its medical clinic.

She explained that Victoria’s Covid commander, Jeroen Weimar, had taken a tour of the facilities and was impressed with the work that the Aboriginal health practitioners were doing to combat the virus.

As demand continues to grow for the different services BDAC offers, the co-op is soon to be expanding its healthcare operations with a AU$7.1 grant from the regional health infrastructure fund.

Related: Co-ops could offer economic inclusion to indigenous Australians, says BCCM report

Part of Mr Weimar’s visit was about encouraging community members to get their booster vaccinations. In an online statement, BDAC said that 98% of those vaccinated by the co-op have now been double vaccinated, and added: “Mr Weimar said it has been fantastic to see the very high vaccination rate among community, he did point out that winter is not too far away and to ensure everyone got the jab to protect themselves and their loved ones. So Mob, listen up and book your booster and protect yourself and community.”

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