Vaccines Q+A

You can get vaccinated at Congress. We have the Pfizer vaccine.  

The vaccine doesn’t contain anything toxic or dangerous.

Side effects are very mild and are a sign that your body is learning to fight the virus.

You can get the Pfizer vaccine at Congress. No risk of very rare blood clots.

It is safe for people aged over 12 years to have.

Pfizer works very well against all types of COVID and will stop you getting very sick when the virus comes.

It will also help stop the sickness from spreading around our old people, people with other sickness and our young ones.

What is in this vaccine anyway? 

Nothing harmful. Certainly no toxic materials you might have heard about online.  

What's in the Pfizer jab? 

  • Nucleoside-modified messenger RNA — active ingredient 
  • ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl) bis(2-hexyldecanoate) (ALC-0315) — lipid casing 
  • 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide (ALC-0159) — lipid casing 
  • Distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC) — lipid casing 
  • Cholesterol — lipid casing 
  • Potassium chloride — salt 
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate — salt 
  • Sodium chloride — salt 
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate — salt 
  • Sucrose — sugar 
  • Water for injections 

How does it work? 

The vaccine mimics the virus causing your body to make antibodies. These then fight off the real virus if it is gotten.  

I’m worried about the vaccine being safe. 

Hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal mob have had the vaccine now and it is safe. The Pfizer vaccine has NO risk of those very rare blood clots. It won't kill you but COVID could.  

What about allergies? 

If you have had allergic reactions to vaccines before, talk to the doctor or nurse. 

What about side effects?

Ah, all vaccines have side effects – but they are mild and go away, you can talk with the doctor about this more.  

I’ve got asthma or weak lungs, should I get it?

It’s more important for you to get vaccinated if you have asthma or a lung condition you will get much sicker if you get COVID than someone who doesn’t. 

I want to wait until there’s an outbreak. 

If everyone (Aboriginal people) waited until there was an outbreak: 

The line-up for vaccines at Congress would be 9-10km! This is from Gap Clinic way out to the Adelaide turn off. Even then, there actually wouldn't be enough vaccine for everyone. We order it every week, so it doesn’t get wasted. 

The first injection doesn’t start to protect you immediately AND you really need two needles to be well protected.  

COVID isn’t here/coming here so I don't need to get the vaccine.

We have been lucky so far, but that WILL change. COVID is in Australia and it isn’t going away. It will be a part of our lives like chicken pox and measles.  

Its spreading across western NSW and Victoria now. It will end up in QLD, in SA, and here.  

Those people in Wilcannia are very worried. 1 in 10 have COVID sickness now. Aboriginal mob too, and there have been deaths. 

If we don’t get vaccinated, it will come and spread quickly. People will get sick, need hospital, need ICU, a machine to breathe. Especially those of us with other sickness. People will die. 

I have had one needle, I don't need to get the other. 

You are protected a little bit by one shot, but not anywhere near as much, also – you won't be protected for very long by just one needle.  

Vaccinated people still get COVID-19

There are breakthrough infections. This is a fact of life. Vaccines reduce the amount of people who get the virus AND how seriously the virus affects us. It means fewer people will need hospital, need ICU and machines to breathe. Fewer people will die. 

If I get sick, i'll just go to hospital and get medicine to get better.

If COVID-19 comes here and more of us aren't vaccinated, too many people will get sick and need hospital. We won't have enough hospital beds. We won't have enough ICU beds and breathing machines (respirators). That means people could be turned away from treatment. Even if they are sick. Even if they might die.

You can still get COVID even after the vaccine

The vaccine stops you getting proper sick. It also helps stop the spread.  

Only a very, very small number of people who have been vaccinated have gotten very sick. And they have been very old and had other bad sickness.  

I can’t get it because it’s a whitefella’s disease.  

Over 1000 Aboriginal people have contracted COVID-19 in the current NSW outbreak alone. Sadly, 7 Aboriginal people have died. 

COVID is not real 

COVID is very real. Congress is very worried about you and this community. That’s why we want you to get vaccinated.  There’s a doctor here you can talk to about it.  

The vaccine is toxic/contains graphene oxide/other things 

That’s not true. The full list of ingredients is available on the TGA website, but those things are myths. They are not true. 

The vaccine is experimental. 

That’s not true either. An experimental vaccine is one that has not gone through clinical trials and authorisation or approval processes. The available coronavirus vaccines have completed clinical trials and have been approved to be used. 

I'm fit and healthy. I don't need the vaccine.

Young, fit people can still get very sick with COVID, especially with the Delta strain. The vaccine is REALLY effective at preventing you from getting serious disease. And it will also make it less likely that you’ll spread the COVID virus to other people – especially your elders, other family, household members and friends.

I trust my immune system.

You should trust your immune system, but it can't fit a virus it doesn't recognise. It doesn't know how. COVID-19 vaccines teach immune systems how to work against COVID-19. 

I don’t know what’s in it.

You can check the ingredients on the TGA website or ask the doctor at the Clinic.  There are fewer chemicals in it than in other things people regularly do, like drink diet soft drink or alcohol.  

What about long term effects? 

There is no reason to think that there are long term effects of the vaccine. We do know that long COVID is very harmful though, so everything should be done to protect you from it.  

Should I get the vaccine if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Yes. COVID infection can be more severe during pregnancy, but the Pfizer COVID vaccine gives good protection, has been shown to be safe for you and for your baby, and is recommended at any stage during pregnancy. It’s also safe during breastfeeding.

I have heard that it could make me infertile. 

There is currently no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of ANY vaccine.

Do the vaccines change your DNA?

No. None of the COVID vaccines change or cause problems with a person’s DNA. Once the vaccine is injected, it only stays in your body a very short time to work, then it’s gone and your body does the rest.

The vaccine was rushed. 

No, it wasn’t. It had more time and money put towards it that any other vaccine in history. The world was focussed on it. Now literally billions of people have had the different types of vaccines so we know the impacts.  

What about blood clots? 

There are no links to very rare blood clots form the Pfizer vaccine, which is what you are eligible for.  

Why are you having to give vouchers ?

We don’t have to, but it is so urgent that people get vaccinated that we want as many people to do so as possible. It's also a way of saying thank you to community members for getting this done.  

How can we trust you? 

Congress have been looking after Aboriginal people in Central Australia for nearly 50 years. We’ve always cared about your health and this is no different.  

Lockdowns stop COVID from spreading so I don’t need to be vaccinated. 

Lockdown is a way that the government is stopping the spread of COVID at the moment. It has worked in the NT but hasn’t worked interstate. It wont work here forever, and the government has already starting talking about how we open up. 

Got questions about vaccines? It's normal to want to know more, and we'd like to help you understand as much as possible about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. If you would like a particular question address, email info@caac.org.au.