Aus to collect ethnic and linguistic data from vax recipients

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Canberra, March 9 (IANS) Australian authorities will begin collecting linguistic and ethnic data from all those who receive a coronavirus vaccine to better document migrant communities.

The Health Ministry confirmed on Monday that anyone who volunteers to receive a Covid-19 vaccine will be asked where they were born and what language they speak at home, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The data will then be used to identify communities with the lowest vaccine uptake, allowing the government to channel culturally appropriate information campaigns on vaccine safety and efficacy.

Similar data has been collected from all Australians who have tested positive for the virus since the end of 2020.

“In 2020, the Department of Health established the Covid-19 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities Health Advisory Group, which includes leaders from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities and their representative organizations, health experts and medical and public health practitioners, ”a ministry told the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia’s multicultural broadcaster on Tuesday.

The group’s aim is to provide health advice to culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse people and communities in relation to the pandemic, the spokesperson said.

The initiative has been welcomed by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA).

“What interests us are the trends in the communities in terms of vaccination uptake,” said President Mary Patetsos.

“So what we want to find is whether particular communities in specific cultural, linguistic and religious contexts are vaccinating at a particular rate.

“If it’s less than the average community member, then we really want to understand why that’s the case, and then target a communication campaign so that they can make the best possible decisions for themselves.”

–IANS

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