The ACTU and the aged care unions are calling on the Morrison Government to immediately seek the assistance of, and provide the necessary funding to, state governments to complete the vaccine rollout in aged and disability care.
Unions have lost faith in the ability of the Federal Government to complete this task. The states are the only level of Government with proven success in administering the vaccine rollout.
All residents and more than 90 per cent of staff in Victorian Government administered aged care have already been vaccinated, while 29 aged care facilities in Victoria which are regulated by the Federal Government are yet to have a single dose delivered to a resident or staff member.
This morning the Federal Minister for aged care Richard Colebeck praised the vaccination program despite his government not even being able to say how many of its aged care and disability workers have been vaccinated – unions believe that it is less than 15 per cent.
More than three-quarters of all deaths from COVID-19 since the start of pandemic have occurred in aged care.
At nearly three months into the rollout the Federal Government has categorically failed to protect residents and staff in aged and disability care who were meant to be the first people to be vaccinated.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien:
“The vast majority of deaths in Australia from COVID-19 have occurred in aged care. The Morrison Government cannot even protect the most at risk in our community from this virus.
“The Morrison Government correctly identified aged and disability care as the number one priority for the vaccine rollout, but over three months into the rollout they have barely vaccinated any of these workers and have failed to protect our most vulnerable people.
“The vast difference between the vaccination rate in state-run and federally-run aged care is appalling. State governments, all other developed countries, everyone but the Morrison Government has managed this rollout effectively.
“It’s time for the Morrison Government to admit they have failed and put the health of Australians ahead of their political pride. They must immediately work with the state governments to administer remainder of the rollout in aged care and disability support.
“It is essential to protect the health of our most vulnerable that we resource an in-reach program to vaccinate both workers and residents of aged and disability care over the coming weeks.”