Plans to ensure senior Australians are vaccinated against COVID-19
Australian aged care residents will soon receive their first vaccine dose against COVID-19 next week, with the federal government intent on protecting the vulnerable from the worst effects of the coronavirus sooner than later.
Priority is being given to tens of thousands of residential aged care facility staff and residents, including those in regional and rural aged care facilities. The roll out to aged care facilities is expected to take approximately six weeks, says the office of Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck.
The vaccine implementation plan for residential aged care aimed to administer vaccines to more than 240 aged care facilities in the first week, and it will be administered through an in-reach workforce provider.
"Residential aged care facilities will be grouped, up to a maximum of eight facilities within a 30 kilometre radius to ensure efficient delivery of the vaccine," reads a statement from the minister's office.
"Vaccination for home and community aged care recipients and staff will occur in the community, and these people will receive information relevant to their situation shortly.
"It’s anticipated that people aged over 70 years who do not reside in residential aged care facilities, along with in-home and community aged care staff, will be able to go to specified central locations or medical facilities to receive their COVID 19 vaccination, as the time comes for their vaccination.
"It is vital residents and families understand what information is available to them as the vaccine strategy is rolled out," said minister Colbeck.
"I would encourage residents and family members to ask if they need help understanding the vaccine program and how it will affect them.
“Importantly, the vaccine providers will be providing information about the vaccine and seeking consent from aged care residents or their substitute decision maker, to ensure they understand the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine.”
The vaccination program will reach more than 2600 residential aged care facilities in the coming weeks, protecting more than 183,000 residents and 339,000 staff.