Aboriginal health worker first to receive COVID-19 vaccine at new Blacktown Hospital vaccination clinic

Senior Aboriginal health worker Nicole Winters receives the first dose at the Blaktown vaccination clinic from nurse immuniser Jissy Mathew Jose.

Western Sydney opened its doors to a new vaccination clinic at Blacktown Hospital today, the second in the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline workers.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is taking place in phases with the Blacktown Hospital vaccination clinic beginning to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to frontline workers only under Phase 1b of the rollout.

Nicole Winters, a Senior Aboriginal Health Worker, was the first frontline health hero to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the new clinic.

“I’m proud that I’m the first patient at Blacktown Hospital to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Nicole said.

“We need connection in order to survive. COVID-19 tried to take that away from us but we came out stronger and getting the vaccine means we will return to normality quicker.”

Working in palliative care, Nicole supports Aboriginal patients throughout their end of life care and encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to get the jab when they’re eligible.

Pharmacist Grace Moujalli draws a dose from the vial.

“I’m in the community for my work and am interacting with very ill patients. I have a daughter who is disabled as well as an elderly father – this vaccine is as much for them as it is for me,” Nicole said.

“Getting the jab means I can keep my mob safe, keep my family safe, and keep the wider western Sydney community safe.”

WSLHD Chief Executive Graeme Loy said the Blacktown Hospital vaccination clinic’s opening is an important milestone for western Sydney and wider NSW as we continue to rally against COVID-19.

“This is a momentous occasion for our health district and our frontline staff who have worked tirelessly to keep the community safe during the pandemic,” Graeme said.

“Thanks to our health heroes who have supported the opening of the Blacktown Hospital vaccination clinic as well as everyone ensuring the smooth running of the Westmead Hospital vaccination hub.”

Nicole works in supportive and palliative care across Western Sydney Local Health District.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in NSW, visit the NSW Health website. To find our when you might be eligible for the vaccine, visit the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker online.