Townsville Bulletin



NORTH Queensland Toyota Cowboys young gun Hamiso Tabuai-fidow is speaking out to help boost the slow Covid-19 vaccinatio­n rate for Townsville’s First Nation people.

Townsville Hospital and Health Services reported this week that the local Indigenous community’s vaccinatio­n rate was almost half that of the city’s general population with 41.2 per cent receiving their first dose and 29.9 per cent fully vaccinated.

Late in the NRL season, the North Queensland Cowboys wore specially designed socks to encourage Indigenous Queensland­ers to ‘ Step up for the Jab’ - empowering Indigenous people aged 12 and over to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and their community.

Tabuai-fidow also joined with the game’s biggest names in the NRL’S Let’s Tackle This Together campaign, where players outlined their motivation­s for having the jab and encouraged fans to join them.

Born in Cairns, with family ties to Saibai Island in the Torres Strait, the Cowboys speedster said he received the vaccine, alongside his teammates, just after the season finished.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the community over the last two years, but hopefully over the next couple of months we can begin to return to normal life,” Tabuai-fidow said.

“As a proud Indigenous man, I’m particular­ly hoping our Indigenous community here in North Queensland get behind the state government regional vaccinatio­n push.

“Indigenous Australian­s have a higher risk of developing serious illness from Covid-19. The vaccine means we are less likely to get seriously sick from the virus and it will also slow the spread in our communitie­s.

“I’d encourage all Queensland­ers who haven’t had the jab to do so as soon as possible.”

Community support volunteer Bonnie Arnold said there was a lot of misinforma­tion circulatin­g around the Townsville Indigenous community.

The people she helped shared rumours of body bags being delivered to communitie­s, that vaccinatio­ns were “white man’s next generation of genocide to eradicate all elders and knowledge of traditiona­l ways”, with others fearing non-traditiona­l medicine.

“The fears are very real, “she said.

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