CHERBOURG, QUEENSLAND – A well-known leader in Australia’s aboriginal community has died 6 days after receiving his second Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Bevan Costello, an indigenous elder, got his second shot on September 9th in an event to promote COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among indigenous people. The ‘Elder’ died 6 days later on Wednesday, September 15th of a sudden heart attack. His death has sent shockwaves through his community.

Costello, who is an elder of the Cherbourg Aboriginal community in Queensland, participated in a special event on September 9th of Elders and teens from Queensland’s Indigenous communities to push back against COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy:

He was interviewed by Australia’s ABC NEWS after his second shot. “I feel more confident now that I’m fully vaccinated that if I come into contact with COVID I should be OK because I’m a diabetic,” Bevan said. “A lot of my people have been hesitant because of a misunderstanding of the information, mostly on social media.”

Bevan Costello after his second shot

His sudden death on Wednesday, September 15th, 6 days after the event, has created more hesitancy among Australia’s indigenous people to get vaccinated. The South Burnett and Cherbourg indigenous communities were shocked upon hearing the tragic news. “I know that he will be remembered with absolute fondness by so many people in Queensland—not only in Cherbourg, Murgon, and the South Burnett district but across the wider Indigenous community in Queensland,” a community member said.

The Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council posted this on Facebook:

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