19 May 2022

Protect our mob this winter

With winter coming, the best way you and your family can stay well and keep doing the things you love is to:

  • Wear a mask when out in crowded spaces
  • Stay home and get tested if you’re not feeling well
  • Get together outside or in well ventilated places
  • Stay up to date with your vaccinations, including COVID-19 and flu

We have a range of new Aboriginal winter and flu resources available promoting these messages. Your help in sharing these resources through your channels is appreciated to help protect the community this winter.


Remember, even if you’ve had COVID-19, it is still important to stay up to date with your vaccinations to boost your immunity and protect yourself and others. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) now recommends waiting 3 months to receive your vaccine after a confirmed COVID-19 infection.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over are also eligible for a winter COVID-19 vaccine (second booster) four months after your first booster dose to help keep your immunity strong. If you get COVID-19 before your winter booster dose, wait three months to receive it.


If you need support to get a vaccine you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline or SMS “Hey EVA" to 0418 611 382. These messages are received by the National Coronavirus Helpline. You will receive a call back from a trained agent who will help you find a vaccine appointment based on your individual needs. This includes finding places where no appointment is needed (walk ins). The hours of operation are 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Get your free flu vaccine today

Flu is circulating in the community for the first time in two years and can cause serious illness. NSW Health has already seen an increase in flu cases and admissions to hospital with flu, indicating an earlier start to the flu season than in previous years.


Getting vaccinated against flu is your best protection, especially for older people and children. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people six months of age and over can get a free flu vaccine. This will help keep the community safe this winter.


The flu vaccine is available from your GP or Aboriginal Medical Service. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 65 years and over can also get their free flu vaccine from participating pharmacies.


You can get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 at the same time. All mob 5 years and over can get a free COVID-19 vaccine.


Speak to your GP or Aboriginal Health Worker about getting vaccinated today.

Testing positive to COVID-19

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 35 and over are considered higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This means you may be eligible for antiviral or other early treatment for COVID-19 that can help stop you from becoming really sick.


If you’re higher risk and have COVID-19 symptoms, it’s critical to get tested with a PCR (nose and throat swab) test immediately as your doctor may be able to prescribe you antiviral medications to reduce the severity of the virus if you test positive to COVID-19. You will need to take this medicine as soon as possible after you test positive.


Please also plan ahead and speak to your doctor now about antiviral medicine. If you get COVID-19, your doctor may recommend antivirals to help you get better. 


Your best protection this winter is to get a flu vaccine and stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure you have maximum protection against both illnesses.


If you have any health concerns call the NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line on 1800 960 933.

Updated household and close contact self-isolation advice

If you are a household or close contact and don’t have any symptoms, you no longer need to self-isolate. However, you must follow the NSW Health Household and Close Contact Guidelines for 7 days from the last time someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19, or as otherwise directed by NSW Health, including:

  • If you develop symptoms, you must self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. If your test result is positive, you must register your result on the Service NSW website and self-isolate and follow the testing positive to COVID-19. If your test result is negative, stay home until you do not have any symptoms.
  • Do not visit high-risk settings (healthcare, aged care, disability care or correctional facilities) unless you require care yourself, or you have permission from the facility to visit for exceptional circumstances (e.g. end of life visits).
  • Wear a mask when you are not at home, including workplaces and tertiary education. Schools may have their own guidance for students which should be followed. Masks are also encouraged in your home to reduce the risk of transmission within your household.
  • Work or study from home where possible. You must seek approval from your employer or education facility before returning to your workplace or school.
  • Avoid contact with people at higher risk of severe illness where possible.
  • Avoid large or crowded indoor gatherings where you will be in contact with groups of people that you don’t live with, where possible.
  • Consider taking a rapid antigen test if you do need to attend an indoor gathering, including your workplace or school, even if you do not have symptoms.

NSW Respiratory Surveillance report - COVID-19 and Influenza

For the latest information on COVID-19 and flu cases, you can view the NSW Respiratory Surveillance Report each week.

New Aboriginal winter and flu resources

See the latest Aboriginal winter and flu resources, including video, posters, social tiles and templates. You are encouraged to share these on your channels.


For more information, contact the Centre for Aboriginal Health:


The Keep Our Mob Safe COVID-19 newsletter has been sent to you because you have been identified as a key stakeholder or have previously requested to receive these updates. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, unsubscribe using the link below. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, or have any feedback please contact NSW Health COVID-19 Communications