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In-principle agreement by Australian Governments on mandatory vaccination of aged care workers welcomed by ACSA

Release date: 04 Jun 2021

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) has welcomed the “in principle disposition” of Australian governments towards mandatory vaccinations for aged care workers and has called for an improvement to the current prioritisation of vaccination for both residential and home care workers in the meantime. 
 

ACSA Chairperson Sara Blunt said aged care providers had urged the nation’s chief health officers to recommend making vaccinations mandatory for aged care workers before the vaccination rollout began, and would support the implementation, provided measures were put in place that make it easy for workers to access the vaccination.

“Providing the best possible protection for our aged care workforce is vital for protecting older Australians who remain vulnerable to the deadly COVID-19 virus,” she said today.

“We support the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for both residential and home care workers, with appropriate exemptions on medical and other significant grounds. The government must also give consideration to ensuring the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine scheme would not place unintended additional pressure on aged care workforce numbers.

“Mandatory vaccinations are not new to aged care as it has been in place and working overall effectively for seasonal influenza vaccination in select states for some time. 

“Even prior to compulsory vaccination of the aged care workforce, governments need to ensure good coverage of vaccination amongst workers and prioritise easy access for better protection of older residents and the wider community. This is especially critical in Victoria but should be a priority across the nation.

“As we saw in the first Covid crisis when governments work together we can achieve effective results. Both levels of government working together to get vaccines to aged care workers as quickly and safely as possible,” 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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