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Community leaders share COVID-19 vaccination messages

Leaders urge CALD community to get the COVID-19 jab.

SydneyConnect Video: Vaccinating our community leaders

Sydney Local Health District staff at the NSW Health Vaccination Centre at Sydney Olympic Park have vaccinated almost 40 religious and community leaders against COVID-19, with the leaders sharing messages about the importance of getting the jab.

The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard,  the Minister for Multiculturalism Dr Geoff Lee, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Teresa Anderson and the Chair of Multicultural NSW Dr Hari Harinath were joined at the Centre by leaders from culturally and linguistically diverse communities across NSW.

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our religious leaders, to all of our cultural leaders across NSW who have done an outstanding job during COVID, in supporting us getting out the message… to keep our community safe.

"The next job we have is to ensure that all of us get vaccinated," Ms Berejiklian said.

More than 55,000 vaccines have been given at the Centre, including 18,321 in the first week of operation.

51 per cent of COVID-19 vaccination bookings are from people who were born overseas. The top five countries of birth other than Australia are India (10,576), China (7,092), Vietnam (3,719), The Philippines (3,437) and Sri Lanka (2,971).

"It is critical, no matter where you come from in the world, if you're living in NSW to get the vaccine as soon as possible. My strong message to the community, including those in the multicultural sections of our NSW community, is book in and get vaccinated as soon as possible," Mr Hazzard said.

Dr Ijaz Khan, a medical advisor for the Australian National Imams Council said the goal was to keep the community safe.

"The only way that we know how to keep the community safe during a time of pandemic and global challenge is to get vaccinated. We strongly urge vaccination. So please, for the community and for yourselves, please get vaccinated," he said.

Archbishop Makarios Griniezakis from the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and encouraged others to also get the jab.

"The only solution that we have to get rid of the pandemic, the only light we have at the end of the tunnel is to get vaccinated. Take the decision and act.  We have to protect our society. We have to protect our country," he said.

People are able to check if they're eligible for a vaccine, and book an appointment, through www.nsw.gov.au

The vaccine can be given by participating GPs, at the NSW Health Vaccination Centre or at one of the COVID-19 vaccination clinics set up throughout NSW.

The NSW Health Vaccination Centre is located at 1 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park and will be open from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.