Better Indigenous COVID jab data demanded

Georgie Moore |

Labor is demanding disclosure of COVID-19 vaccination data for young Indigenous children as the overall First Nations jab rate lags by nearly 20 per cent.

About 75 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 16 and older are double-dosed, compared with more than 93 per cent of Australia’s overall 16-plus population.

Labor’s Indigenous Australians spokeswoman Linda Burney will use the resumption of federal parliament in February to demand transparency about first doses for under-12s as well as a breakdown of adult booster rates.

“The government should be reporting Indigeneity in the five-to-11 group, it doesn’t make any sense that they’re not,” she told AAP on Wednesday.

“We need to know what the vaccination rates are for our very young people. And it’s just remarkable to me and to many Aboriginal people that those those rates are not being reported.”

Federal data shows about 33 per cent of all Australian children between the ages of five and 11 have received a first dose.

Nearly 76 per cent of the overall 12-to-15 age cohort is double-dosed.

In comparison, about 64 per cent of Indigenous children aged between 12 and 15 have received at least one dose. 

More than seven million adults have received a third dose, but the federal government’s daily vaccination tally does not show a breakdown for Indigenous people.

It comes as the country recorded one of its deadliest pandemic days with 87 fatalities.

In South Australia, 13 people died as that state recorded 2401 new infections.

In Victoria, 35 people died in its deadliest day since the second virus wave in 2020. Another 13,507 new cases were also recorded.

NSW reported 29 new deaths and 21,030 additional infections, while nine more people died, and another 13,551 were infected, in Queensland.

The ACT reported 896 new case, the Northern Territory 492 and Western Australia 24.

The health department was contacted for comment about the availability of booster and under-12 dose data for Indigenous people.