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Aged care vaccine roll-out should happen in workplaces to guarantee good coverage

Release date: 01 Jun 2021

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) has called for an end to blame shifting between state and federal government and says the priority should be providing vaccines at convenient workplace locations for both residential and home care workers.

ACSA Chair Sara Blunt said the best way to ensure good coverage of vaccine amongst workers was to make it as easy as possible.

“If the Covid-19 vaccine is available at workplaces then we’ll see a significant pick up and improvements to coverage in aged care quickly,” Ms Blunt said.

“The main issue right now is not whether the vaccine is mandatory, it's whether workers can get easy access.

“The government has to stop blaming providers or workers when the roll out is its responsibility. Our workers are amongst the hardest working yet poorly paid in the care and service industries and the fewer barriers we put in front of them to get a vaccine, the better.

“In Victoria inparticular, workers right now will be primarily concerned with the immediate health of the older people in their care and also themselves and their families.

"As we saw in the first COVID-19 crisis, when governments work together we can achieve effective results. Both levels of government working together to get vaccines to aged care workers is needed now we have community spread.

“Government should be maximising resources to assist vaccinations in Victoria. It is not our workers who should be expected to make the roll out of vaccines work, it’s the health authorities and government.  They have the vaccines and the resources to get it out into the community. We will work with them.

“Providers have been consistently telling the government that vaccines should be made available in the facilities themselves.

“We want action on vaccines to scale up. If this means using the defence forces that have assisted in remote areas, or bringing in other resources to enable ‘in reach’ workplace vaccinations, then the government should make it happen.

‘Whether or not vaccines should be mandatory should ultimately be a broader health policy decision for the authorities,” Ms Blunt said.

 

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0455 111 593

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia

 

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