‘Rightfully anxious’: Choice on obligatory vax for aged care staff should lengthen to disability

The National Cabinet’s decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for people who work in elderly care is a responsible step in Australia’s fight against COVID-19, said Karen Stace, senior state and territory manager, National Disability Services.

National Disability Services (NDS) is calling for the same step to be introduced to protect the vulnerable people with disabilities in Australia, if Pfizer vaccine delivery allows.

“The vulnerability of people with disabilities was recognized by the federal government when people with disabilities were included in Phases 1a and 1b of the vaccine roll-out,” says Stace.

“This same recognition now needs to be extended to vaccination policy by making the vaccine mandatory in a similar way in the disability sector. It just makes sense. “

The fact that some people with disabilities are more likely to have comorbidities, making them particularly vulnerable to the virus’ worst effects, including death, was noted by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

The established position of NDS on vaccination in the disability sector includes a call on all Australian governments to adopt approved vaccines – with legal exceptions.

“Our members are rightly concerned that the virus may spread unnecessarily in our communities.”

NDS demand for compulsory vaccines is only tempered by the availability of adequate supplies and a dedicated education campaign that highlights the dramatic benefits of vaccination and serves to overcome vaccine hesitation.

“A ‘no jab, no work’ judgment cannot be enforced if people do not have reasonable access to a vaccine,” said Ms. Stace.

“If the government introduces mandatory vaccines in the disability sector, the next step will be to work together on an implementation plan that works across the network of providers.”

/ Public release. This material comes from the original organization and can be punctiform, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.

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