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December 2021

Genevieve Lilley holding a postcard. jpeg
Genevieve Lilley with her postcard.

Postcards get the message across

A Wimmera Health Care Group initiative to reach unvaccinated, vulnerable community members has been adopted by health services across Victoria.

Grampians region vaccine rollout co-ordinator Genevieve Lilley and her colleagues said they had been concerned about vulnerable community members who had not been able to access COVID-19 clinics.

‘We knew there were a lot of people in the community who were isolated at home and they might be linked to various health services and community services but may not be leaving the house too often,’ Ms Lilley said.

‘These are the sort of people who caught COVID-19 in Sydney because they were isolated and may have been cared for by family.

‘A lot of them actually passed away because they were aged and vulnerable and didn’t get out and get vaccinated.’

Ms Lilley said while considering different strategies, they came up with a postcard as a simple referral tool.

The postcard had a straightforward ‘Need help to get vaccinated?’ message.

‘The postcard was a simple but catchy referral tool that could reach those people and easily be distributed across all the community service networks.

‘Those networks could then use that to initiate a conversation about vaccination and to promote referral to us so that we could give the vaccines in their home.

‘Vaccinating at home is a preferred option for a lot of people who aren’t very mobile or prefer to stay home and it’s been very successful.’

Ms Lilley said Grampians public health unit picked up on the idea, as did a couple of health services including Ballarat.

‘We work closely with the Grampians public health unit and share strategies, and the PHU at Ballarat picked up the postcard design.

‘They put their own details on them and now the idea has spread right across Victoria.

‘We’ve had quite a lot of referrals for those people as a direct result of the postcard strategy.’