Vaccinating our way back to freedom

Kellie O’Callaghan has had her two COVID vaccinations, not only because of her own health conditions but also because she is an active member of her community in Gippsland, Victoria.

She is urging everybody to get vaccinated as soon as they can.  “That way we can get back to the freedom and doing the things we all love,” she says.

She says of vaccine hesitancy….

Getting the vaccine when it is available to you helps us to keep the broadest range of community members well. There are community members who for many reasons, often medical, are not able to have a vaccine and they are relying on the rest of us to ensure that they can be safe. If you are unsure about vaccination, or require more information you can speak to your GP, community health or vaccination hub team to ensure you have trusted and reliable information.

Her advice to people who are hesitating is….

Trusted sources of advice and support are essential to ensuring that you are well informed regarding vaccination. Be informed and reach out to health professionals who are best placed to support you to make a decision that best suits your needs and keeps you well.

And getting the vaccination message across in regional areas is particularly important because….

Our regional communities rely on each other and we keep an eye out for each other. We thrive on opportunities to be together, to share experiences and to support each other in all that we do. The more people who are vaccinated, the closer we will be to bringing everyone back together in the large scale community activities we know and love.

Kellie is worth listening to.  She is recognised for her strong leadership in the community with a passion for health consumer and community engagement. 
She has served for many years as the Chair of a Regional Health Service Board, and on a range of State and local health-focused governance boards and committees.

Motivated by her extensive personal health consumer experience, her focus is on work that drives genuine improvement for patients, carers and community.

So right now, getting as many people as possible to get vaccinated is a crucial community health endeavour.

Kellie says she thinks more and more people will recognise the sense of getting vaccinated because….

The more people who are vaccinated, the closer we are to getting past the need for lockdowns and restrictions and the greater opportunity to keep everyone well.

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About the author

Mark Metherell

Mark Metherell joined the Consumers Health Forum of Australia as Communications Manager in February 2013. Previously he was the Canberra based health correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, a position he held since 1999. He was also medical reporter for the Age in the 1980s. In a newspaper career spanning 40 years, he has held a variety of other posts including news editor and defence and foreign affairs correspondent. He retired from his position as Communications Director with CHF on 1 March 2022.