Covid-19 in Australia: Vaccine misinformation targets Aborigines

Will indigenous Australians fall victim to compulsory vaccination and be locked up in camps if they refuse? This is what some of these anti-vaccine accounts on social media would make you believe. They have shared videos claiming that Australian aborigines are subject to the country’s Covid-19 restrictions. But that is not the case. We tell you why in this episode of Truth or Fake.

One of these videos shows people wearing tribal clothes and pointing arrows and bows at police officers. The post claims that these are Aborigines who respond to compulsory vaccination.

In another video, an Australian couple claims to be showing a “prison” set up for unvaccinated people. The same video was shared by another account claiming that this would be the fate of 90 percent of Aborigines who fail to get a shot.

But these videos actually have nothing to do with Australia’s indigenous people. The first video with arrows and bows actually comes from a protest in Brazil in 2019 – that is, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the video of the prison? It actually shows the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Center, a detention center for migrants. The center was expanded between 2017 and 2019 before the pandemic began.

John Paterson, president of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance for Australia’s Northern Territory, condemned the misinformation in an interview with a local radio station.

And Luke Ellis, an Aboriginal doctor, posted a thread on Twitter in response to accusations that unvaccinated Aborigines would be placed in camps.

I do not know who will see this, but since I have plenty of time on me, I thought I might as well balance all the misinformation out there

I’m indigenous, currently covid-positive and currently living at the Howard Springs quarantine facility. # Aboriginal #covid #nt

– Luke Ellis (@ lukeae88) November 23, 2021

Some Aborigines themselves share this type of disinformation, but it also comes from around the world. US, British and French accounts have all shared false information about vaccines as well as false information about the Australian government’s treatment of aborigines.

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