COVID-19 vaccination fee amongst SA aged care staff ‘not as excessive’ as wanted forward of deadline
Barely a third of elderly care workers in South Australia are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a threatened federal deadline, statistics show.
- Federal health data shows that only 35 percent of geriatric carers in South Africa received a second vaccination
- The corresponding share among NDIS employees is even lower at 28 percent
- Labor spokeswoman Nat Cook said the rollout in the disability sector was “at a snail’s pace”.
The proportion of NDIS workers in South Africa who have had a second vaccination is even worse, with less than half receiving a first dose.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health, 53 percent of elderly care workers in South Africa – or 14,891 of the 28,234 workers reported by the providers – have so far received a first dose of vaccine.
That number includes the 9,742 who got their second dose – or 35 percent.
The federal government has set a deadline of September 17th for all elderly care workers who must have received a first dose by this date.
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SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier today admitted that vaccination rates in the state’s retirement cohort were below expectations.
“I think we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of vaccinated elderly care workers, but it’s not as high as we really need,” she said.
“We must do everything we can to make vaccination as easy as possible for workers.
“We have limited Pfizer supplies, we have certain groups that we need to prioritize vaccination.”
Nicola Spurrier, SA chief public health officer, said the vaccination rate was “not as high” as expected among elderly care workers.
According to federal data, 45 percent of NDIS workers in South Africa – or 4,697 of 10,238 – have received a first dose to date, including 2,961 (or 28 percent) who are fully vaccinated.
The ABC requested the information after confusion at a government vaccination clinic for elderly care and handicapped staff.
It was revealed on Monday that a COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by the South Australian Department of Human Services (DHS) was allowing anyone over the age of 18 to have a stab in their Highgate Park building due to a “human error”.
Professor Spurrier said that despite the mistake, it was important that vaccine rollout continued to target those in priority sectors.
“It is so important that we vaccinate all of our elderly and disabled carers,” she said.
“If people have been following the national news, we are likely to make vaccination mandatory for geriatric carers and we need to make sure we have it accessible and make sure it is available to that particular sector.”
Labor Office spokeswoman Nat Cook said opportunities had been missed to speed up vaccine adoption.
Nat Cook says the introduction of the vaccine was embarrassing.
She said the mistake at Highgate highlighted the mismanagement of the launch.
“We have seen a rollout in the area of disability assistance for DHS employees that is so fast-paced that it is embarrassing,” she said.
“It’s just not good enough.”
Premier Steven Marshall said the Highgate Clinic was “established to provide vaccination to elderly care and disabled workers,” and this remains a government priority.
“These vaccine doses must be for the most vulnerable,” he said.
“The strong advice I received in South Australia is that the elderly and disabled workforce is an area that we need to prioritize.”
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