The advocacy group People with Disability Australia has called on people with disabilities and their treating doctors to assess their risk of contracting COVID-19 and choose which vaccine to receive after residents and workers of a home for the disabled are infected with the virus.
The top organization’s plea comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this afternoon that risk profiles for contracting COVID have shifted recently and states should be able to vaccinate AstraZeneca in mass vaccination clinics under 60.
The Prime Minister’s comments came after he was criticized for questioning the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) that Pfizer was the vaccine of choice for those under 60.
Since the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has argued that people with disabilities and their supporters should have a choice of vaccines if they wanted one and should be given priority when vaccinating.
PWDA President Samantha Connor said people with disabilities should be able to choose what vaccine to get and when and where to get vaccinated.
“The Delta variant of COVID-19 is a massive threat to the community with disabilities and people with disabilities should be able to assess their risk of contracting the virus and assess whether they are waiting for the vaccine that is recommended for them or want to use another vaccine readily available, ”Ms. Connor said.
“Some people with disabilities prefer Pfizer as an option regardless of their age, but others under 60 want AstraZeneca now to protect them from dying from the virus.”
The disability rights attorney and activist said people with disabilities should be able to assess their risks in collaboration with their trusted health care professionals, and both Pfizer and AstraZeneca should be made available to people when launches 1a and 1b.
Urgent discussions are ongoing among members of the disability community about government decisions not to make AstraZeneca available in community clinics, Pfizer’s scarcity, and the identification of the risk to clinically vulnerable disabled people, especially in residential settings.
People with disabilities in small group homes get COVID
The New South Wales government announced today that three residents and two employees who worked at Sydney’s Unisson home for the disabled in Parklea have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Members of the disability community were among 124 people in the state diagnosed with the virus during the country’s Delta outbreak, which affected states across the country.
NSW Health’s state health protection director, Dr. Jeremy McAnulty said workers and residents who contracted the virus were given a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccination status of other people in the segregated six-bed accommodation operated by the National Disability Insurance Fund-funded service provider is unknown.
- Federal government figures released in late June showed that only 5,000 Australian residents in disabled care – fewer than one in five – were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A total of 27,236 NDIS-funded people over the age of 16 had received a first dose in nursing homes.
Source: The Guardian, “Hit and Miss”: less than one in five Australians in disabled care vaccinated against Covid-19
- Three people with disabilities and two assistants were diagnosed with COVID-19 today at the home of the Unisson Disability group in Parklea. For more information, see the following article:
ABC News, NSW sees 124 new cases of COVID on the worst day of the outbreak to date
9NEWS, record daily cases in NSW with 124 new infections
Sky News Australia, COVID outbreaks in two elderly care facilities in NSW and a home for the disabled
The Sydney Morning Herald, all NSW geriatric nurses who tested positive unvaccinated
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