The state government has still not achieved its goal of vaccinating 900 high-ranking disabled workers in state care facilities by the end of March, with almost 45 percent of the workforce still not receiving a COVID vaccination.
The Highgate Park Vaccination Clinic, set up exclusively for disabled and elderly care workers (Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily)
The first phase of the vaccine roll-out gave priority to disability workers, with Minister of Human Services Michelle Lensink saying earlier this year that 900 frontline workers working in disabled shelters would receive a vaccine by the end of March.
But according to the latest data from the Department of Human Services, 878 disabled shelter workers had received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Thursday.
Of the employees who receive a vaccination, 428 are fully vaccinated, according to the department.
This corresponds to a little more than 27 percent of the more than 1543 disabled accommodations employed by the DHS in full-time equivalents.
The latest numbers also mean that more than 43 percent of state government disability workers hadn’t received a COVID-19 vaccine by Thursday.
A spokesman for the DHS said the number of vaccinated auxiliaries was “a higher percentage than”. [the] National average “.
The Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink urged all workers at shelters in South Australia and frontline assisted shelters to sign up for a vaccine.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for Dept. of Human Services-supported housing workers to get vaccinated, so we continue to support employees with access to vaccinations on paid working hours and strongly encourage them to roll up their sleeves,” Lensink said.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, free and critical to our fight against the virus.”
Shadow Services Secretary Nat Cook said the rollout was “terribly lagging behind.”
“It’s been six months since disabled workers should be the top priority when vaccination was introduced,” Cook said.
“Because only a quarter of the people who take care of a severely endangered handicapped community [fully] vaccinated is a shame. “
Cook said more needs to be done to provide “an informed and accessible way” for disabled workers to get vaccinations.
The DHS previously attributed the slow pace of adoption to national health recommendations advising against giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone under the age of 60.
“The introduction of COVID-19 vaccinations for DHS workers with disabilities began successfully in March, but was significantly impacted by new health warnings in April,” a DHS spokesman told InDaily on July 14, when only 320 disability workers were employed received a vaccine.
“Many employees are under 60 years of age and it is therefore not recommended that they receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as planned.”
To encourage the induction of disabled workers, DHS opened a special Pfizer clinic in Highgate Park last week for the disabled and geriatric carers only.
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However, the clinic was opened Monday to anyone under 40 who wanted to book an appointment as it was alleged that there was an “oversupply” of Pfizer vaccines due to low demand.
Meanwhile, the adoption of vaccines for people with disabilities living in government care is accelerating.
The DHS said 417 of approximately 500 people living in state government shelters for disabled people are fully vaccinated.
“Of the remaining, about a third have refused a vaccination and two-thirds require a home visit that will be arranged,” said a DHS spokesman.
Union backlash to Jab mandate for elderly care workers
The United Workers Union has asked the state government to suspend a new mandate for all elderly care workers in South Africa by Jan.
Police commissioner and state emergency coordinator Grant Stevens signed a new directive Tuesday evening mandating that “any employee, contractor or volunteer in an inpatient elderly care facility” receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or proof of booking to receive a second Dose until September 17th.
News Thomas Kelsall
Friday, May 21
The management also includes all administrative staff, lifestyle / social care staff (e.g. music or art therapy) and transport drivers for geriatric carers.
The union said federal government statistics show that only 51 percent of geriatric carers in South Africa have received a COVID-19 vaccine, with 6,500 vaccines being required per week for the sector to meet the deadline.
Carolyn Smith, director of geriatric care at UWU, said the new policy will panic among workers.
“While we will always encourage our members to follow the health advice of state and federal health officials, it is not surprising that there is some hesitation among elderly care workers as misinformation has flourished as part of regular interventions.” Change vaccination recommendations, ”said Smith.
“While it would be realistic to give more than 30,000 doses in five weeks, not enough has been done to allay the fears of geriatric carers who have been exposed to not only online misinformation but also reports in the mainstream media of blood clots. “And other risks associated with various vaccines.
With all of this in mind, extreme staff shortages will inevitably become inevitable as workers are banned from the industry and exacerbate health care problems as elderly carers are forced to occupy much-needed beds in hospitals. “
Health chief Nicola Spurrier said on Tuesday that the number of vaccinated elderly care workers was “not as high” as the authorities would like.
“I think the number of vaccinated elderly care workers has been increasing, but it’s not as high as we really need,” she said.
Local news affairs
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