Every day they come to work, Western Sydney Local Health District’s Drug Health Service ensure they go above and beyond to keep vulnerable members of the western Sydney community safe – and today is no different.
More than 90 per cent of staff in the service have rolled up their sleeves to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Addiction staff specialist and service director Dr Robert Graham said he’s extremely proud of the 119 staff members who have been vaccinated.
“The Drug Health Service works throughout the whole local health district, providing treatment and support for those affected by substance use,” Robert said.
“A lot of the people accessing our services are socially disadvantaged, ageing, or have increasing medical complexity – any and all of these things can make a person extremely vulnerable.
“We help these people overcome and manage their substance use on a daily basis, and now, we need to go that extra step further to help protect them from COVID-19.”
Before receiving their doses, staff were given the opportunity to attend two information sessions hosted by WSLHD staff specialist Dr Thao Lam.
In these sessions, staff raised questions and queries about vaccination, whilst also being provided with information and resources on the vaccines.
Dr Graham said these sessions allowed the service team members to come together and hear about how the vaccine will have not only benefit them, but also the wider community.
“As it can be expected, there were a few staff members who were reluctant to get the vaccination due to personal reasons, however, after speaking to Dr Lam, they better understood how and why it is important,” he said.
“To me, it is about protecting yourself, your colleagues, your patients and the wider western Sydney community.
“We have nurses, doctors and allied health staff across all hospitals and multiple community health centres. If one of us became infected with the virus, or unknowingly transmitted it to a patient or fellow team member, the effects could be detrimental.
“We are doing what we do best – looking out for the community and protecting them in every way possible.”
The WSLHD Drug Health Service provides care in the management of alcohol and drug problems for individuals, families and community organisations in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).
Anyone wishing to access this service or find out more can call the Drug Health Central Intake Line on 02 8860 2565.
To book your COVID-19 vaccination, go to www.nsw.gov.au or visit the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker online.