SYDNEY — Aged care workers do not need to disclose if they’ve received a Covid-19 vaccination despite a new requirement for mandatory reporting of jab numbers by providers.
Under current Health Department guidelines “it is voluntary for workers to be vaccinated and to disclose if they have received a Covid-19 vaccination”.
“For all aged care workers in in-home and community aged care, and in residential aged care, it remains voluntary for workers to be vaccinated and to disclose if they have received a Covid-19 vaccination,” the guidance states.
From June 15, it will be mandatory for aged care providers to report vaccination numbers to the federal government on a weekly basis.
“Whilst facilities are required to report, it remains voluntary for workers to be vaccinated and to disclose if they have received a Covid-19 vaccination,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement on June 4.
“First dose Covid-19 vaccination clinics have been completed in 2,558 of a total 2,564 facilities, covering 99 percent of all facilities under the Commonwealth’s vaccine roll out in aged care. Of those, 2,120 facilities have received their second dose clinics,” the statement read.
“According to data to June 3, 128,788 from a total 185,916 residents are fully vaccinated and 28,471 residents have received the first dose. A further 28,657 residents have not yet received the vaccination for a number of reasons including consent, illness or due to their advanced care planning.”
“The focus is now on supporting providers to understand the level of protection against Covid-19 across the aged care workforce. The choice to get vaccinated and to disclose this information is voluntary but we do hope the workforce gets behind this important initiative. They will be protecting themselves, their families and the people they care for.”
Hunt’s office has been contacted for comment as to if this raises concerns about data reliability.
Weekly data will be recorded through an online reporting tool that records unidentified data on the total number of aged care workers who have received their first or second dose.
A number of states scrambled to prioritize aged care vaccinations after the Victorian outbreak raised concern about the rollout speed.
“Not all of our workers who were supposed to be vaccinated already by the Commonwealth in the 1A group have been done. We’re not going to wait any longer,” Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said on June 2.
The Victorian government announced on June 1 it would prioritize Covid vaccinations for workers in private facilities.
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Praveen Pramod Tewari)
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