Australian authorities will begin collecting language and ethnic data from everyone who receives a coronavirus vaccine to better document the migrant communities.
The Department of Health on Monday confirmed that everyone who volunteers to receive a Covid-19 vaccine will be asked where they were born and what language they speak at home, reports Xinhua news agency.
The data will then be used to identify communities where the uptake of vaccines is lowest, allowing the government to channel culturally appropriate information campaigns about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
Similar data has been collected from every Australian who has tested positive for the virus since late 2020.
“In 2020, the Department of Health established the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities Covid-19 Health Advisory Group, which includes leaders from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse communities and their representative organisations, health experts and medical and public health practitioners,” a Department spokesperson told the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia’s multicultural broadcaster, on Tuesday.
The purpose of the group is to provide health advice for culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse people and communities in relation to the pandemic, the spokesperson said.
The initiative was welcomed by the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA).
“What we’re interested in is trends in the communities in terms of their uptake of vaccination,” chairwoman Mary Patetsos said.
“So what we’re wanting to find is whether particular communities in specific cultural, language and religious backgrounds are vaccinating at a particular rate.
“If it’s less than the average member of the community, then we really want to understand why it is, and then target a communications campaign so that they can make the best possible decisions for themselves.”