Residential aged care staff have risen to the challenge and helped providers achieve a first dose COVID-19 vaccination for nearly 97% of all who work in residential aged care by today’s deadline.

This massive effort means our aged care sector is #ProudtoProtect and is a step closer to providing the best quality and safest care for our vulnerable older residents during the pandemic.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said there are a few areas where the vaccination rate needs to pick up and LASA is working with the Federal Health Department and the Vaccine Taskforce to ensure staff get access to the vaccine now that supplies are more readily available.

“In the eight weeks since the Prime Minister announced that a first dose vaccination would be mandatory for all residential aged care workers by 17 September there has been a concerted effort by providers and workers to respond,” Mr Rooney said. 

“We in the aged care sector know better than most that COVID-19 can be devastating and have been calling for the vaccination of our workforce to be a priority.

“Nearly 97% of our workforce has now received at least a first dose according to official figures – and the true number is even higher, with providers still updating the numbers as final confirmations come in from staff.  Further, just over 78% of workers are fully vaccinated, having received their second dose.”

“There is a small number of staff with valid reasons for not being vaccinated either due to medical reasons, or because they haven’t been able to gain access to a vaccine before the deadline.

“We are working with the Government to ensure that there is continuity of care and that quality of care is not compromised.  I note that in some cases, under the State and Territory public health orders, temporary exemptions will be in place to allow staff to keep working, provided they have a valid exemption.”

Mr Rooney said that LASA and the aged care sector will continue to work with the Government to achieve full vaccination of all residential aged care staff and to progress further supports to ensure that home care staff are encouraged and enabled to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Home care staff are the next front line that should have been among those in the high priority group to be vaccinated first, announced by the Government back in February,” Mr Rooney said.

“We look forward to developing supports with the Government to assist home care staff with vaccinations.”

At the end of the day protecting older Australians and those who care for them is our number one priority and we are #ProudtoProtect them.

Media contacts: Nick Way or Kate Hannon 08 6311 7809 (24 hours)

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