There’s growing anxiety in the disability sector over delays to vaccinations, with accommodation providers demanding clarity on when their jabs will arrive.
So far, only a third of residential aged and disability care homes have been immunised as part of phase 1A of the rollout.
Scope Australia runs 284 independent living homes in Victoria, housing 1250 residents with disabilities.’
Chief executive Jennifer Fitzgerald said they’d been told to expect 4-6 weeks’ notice for the start of their vaccinations. But so far, they’ve heard nothing.
“It’s created a lot of anxiety among the people we support, the staff and family members,” Dr Fitzgerald said.
9News understands other accommodation providers have been warned to expect delays of about 11 weeks, due to vaccine supply shortages.
David Moody from National Disability Services, the peak body for disability services, says the progress to date has been disappointing, but the lack of information is making things harder.
“What would be tremendously helpful would be the federal government putting out information, clarifying the timeframe for the rollout to the disability sector. We want to know when the vaccines will be arriving at the door of disability accommodation,” Mr Moody said.
A spokesperson from the federal health department has told 9News vaccinations for the disability sector began on February 24, but did not respond to questions about the reported delays.
“The priority is to deliver vaccines in a safe and efficient way in settings where multiple people living with a disability reside and to provide access that supports individual’s personal choice,” the statement said.
“This includes enabling people living with disability to access a vaccine through a GP if that is their preference.”