An estimated audience of 43,000 people watched the 4th Online Forum of COVID-19 in the Chinese Community, held on August 1.
Organised by the Australian Chinese Medical Practitioners Society ( ACMPS), the online forum provided information from seven Chinese-background GPs and specialists on the current COVID vaccination and its rollout and was watched on ZOOM and two major live-streaming platforms in the Chinese community.
It was hosted by Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu.
"Under the current situations of the Delta strain outbreak, the relatively weak vaccination rate and community lockdown, we need to do the right things to strictly stick to COVID restrictions and get vaccinated ASAP," Councillor Liu said.
"We hope this forum could provide useful information which helps people make their decisions earlier.
"We received lots of positive feedback and at the same time met the strong demand from our community for getting this kind of information by the Chinese community language," Cr Liu said.
The online forum featured an information session delivered by Dr Lawrence Li, Dr Michael Zeng, Dr Daisy Dai and Dr Zhen Zhang.
They provided a brief introduction of symptoms of COVID-19, especially symptoms of infection with the Delta strain and the harm to the human body.
There was also information on the AstraZeneca vaccine, its necessity, effectiveness and the side effects, all supported by clinical data.
The doctors also provided a comparison of the two COVID-19 vaccines - Pfizer and AstraZeneca currently in use in Australia and the instructions for before and after receiving the two vaccines.
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people's mental health and how to deal with it effectively was covered by Dr Zhen Zhang of the Wesley Hospital in Kogarah.
Speaking as a psychiatrist, Dr Zhen Zhang said he had seen a lot of anxiety in the community about the pandemic and the vaccinations.
"Surprisingly, there's a lot of concern about what is called 'overvalued ideas' or conspiracy theories," he said.
"In my talk during the online forum I said that there is no evidence to support these overvalued ideas and I encouraged people to pay attention to more valid information on the government website and Beyond Blue.
"I was also surprised that a lot of people didn't know how to register for the vaccine.
"We were able to provide information on the vaccines, the side effects, the medical suitability of certain age groups and the difference between AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.
"Hopefully, things are improving as GPs say there are more people coming forward for the AstraZeneca vaccine."
The online forum included a Q&A session with Dr Jiang Li, Dr Amanda Wang and Dr Clare Wong.
The doctors collected almost 150 questions received from the local Chinese community via social media which they summarized into 14 questions with answers. .
These questions included:
Can cancer patients be vaccinated during treatments for radiotherapy and chemotherapy?
Can pregnant women get vaccinated?
When can patients be vaccinated after surgery?
Can people with a history of allergies of an unknown cause be vaccinated?
Can breastfeeding women be vaccinated?
What are Pfizer and AstraZeneca's contraindications and side effects?
Can people get booster shots of Pfizer after have receiving two shots of AstraZeneca?
Can people who take immunosuppressants get vaccinated?
How to comfort relatives and friends who have been diagnosed with COVID?
Following the forum relevant information is being constantly updated to the community via social media by the supporting team of volunteers.
The online forum was sponsored by Laverty Pathology and Synergy Medical Pty Ltd, and supported by Wondercity Culture Media's Tim Zhang and Momo Zhang, CIty Media Australia and Australian Business Elite Club: Eileen Zhang; Kelland He; Jeff Sun; Katie Xie; Apple Yuan; Sofia Hao, Michael Zhang and Cathy Yu.
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