A third of aged care workers have received a COVID jab

Around 30 per cent of reported residential aged care workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Around 85,000 residential aged care workers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, data from the new mandatory provider reporting scheme shows.

More than 90 per cent of residential aged care providers had reported the vaccine status of 258,408 aged care workers as at 23 June, a spokesperson from the Department of Health told Australian Ageing Agenda.

This represents 2,599 out of 2,870 residential aged care services in Australia.

The spokesperson said 85,272 aged care workers have been vaccinated (33 per cent of reported workers) including  40,354 workers who have received two doses (16 per cent) and 44,918 who have only had one dose (17 per cent).

Providers commenced mandatory staff vaccination reporting on 15 June, however it remains voluntary for staff to disclose this information.

The scheme was brought in to get a handle on how many aged care workers had received a COVID-19 vaccine as it was revealed in a Senate Estimate hearing in June that the government had no means to track vaccination rates.

On 2 June it was estimated that only 10 per cent of residential aged care workers had received a COVID-19 vaccine but the government said it believed this figure was “significantly underreported”.

The health department said it was continuing to provide guidance to aged care facilities on the new reporting requirements.

“The reporting system is working well with over 90 percent of facilities now having provided their vaccination information.

“We will continue to work with those who are yet to report, noting that it is now mandatory and will ensure that those facilities report their information as soon as possible,” the spokesperson told AAA.

“It is important to note that for those who have received AstraZeneca, there is a 12-week period between first and second doses, as required by the medical advice and this impacts the second dose figures.”

The government had initially planned to vaccinate all aged care workers at their place of work within the first six weeks of the rollout.

However, the rollout has experienced several delays and the government reneged on that commitment, drawing the ire of unions and providers peak bodies about workers having inadequate access to vaccines.

The Federal Government is now supporting some in-reach services when residents are being vaccinated but is largely encouraging aged care workers to source their own vaccination at specialist vaccination hubs, state, territory and commonwealth clinics, general practitioners and pharmacists in some regional areas.

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Tags: aged care staff, covid19 vaccine, department of health, featured, worker vaccination,

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