Tuesday 2 March 2021
Good afternoon all,
Throughout these unprecedented times, it is clear that Australia has remained a lucky country.
We had already been tested by floods, fires and drought, long before COVID-19 entered our nation. Whilst the pandemic has negatively impacted us all by way of sickness and death, social and familial isolation, and significant business losses, we have not experienced the reported devastation and disruption faced by many other nations and their citizens. We have held our own, and prevailed, while larger, older, and wealthier nations have been bent to their breaking points.
However, this fortunate position may, in fact, be creating a level of apathy and potentially antagonism towards the game-changing coronavirus vaccine.
The choice to be vaccinated (or not) remains a luxury we have as citizens of a first-world country. Yet, this choice must be taken very seriously for everyone and everything we care about, including ourselves. At this time we must also consider our shared duty of care for each person Mercy Connect serves; which includes our participants, their families and guardians, and our fellow colleagues.
Importantly, people with disability are at greater risk of becoming very sick if they catch COVID-19. This is why people with disability, and workers in residential services and disability care group homes, will be among the first to access the free vaccine. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a safe and effective way of protecting you, your family and our communities. It also protects other people who may not be able to be vaccinated.
For context, the Venerable Catherine McAuley and her Sisters of Mercy travelled the world to serve the poor and provided free health care in a time of tuberculosis and cholera, which resulted in the death of some Sisters, including Catherine. There were no cures or vaccines during that time. They knew the danger, yet they put aside their lives to save others. At this time, we can follow our Sisters of Mercy’s footsteps, perhaps not by literally putting our lives on the line as they did, but by wearing a mask (where required), practicing social distancing, correctly using PPE, and getting the vaccine once available.
So, how do we make an informed decision on whether we should get vaccinated, or not?
There is already a wide range of approved materials and resources publicly available which I encourage everyone to review, to ensure we all have the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 vaccination program. Please find some official sites for your interest:
I would also recommend the following video, which highlights what our world would look like without vaccines: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/what-would-a-world-without-vaccines-be-like/p09773sc?playlist=made-in-partnership-with-the-royal-society
As a former Registered Nurse / endorsed Nurse Immuniser who has personally delivered immunisation services to thousands of adults and children across Queensland, I remain openly pro-vaccination. Once the coronavirus vaccine becomes available, I will receive my free injection, just as I do each year for my annual flu shot.
What will you do?
Together we grow.
Chief Executive Officer