News PM concedes ‘step up’ needed in disability

PM concedes ‘step up’ needed in disability

Scott Morrison says 'we need to be better' to get disabled Australians vaccinated. Photo: AAP
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Scott Morrison has conceded the coronavirus vaccine rollout in disability care needs to be stepped up.

The prime minister said the aged sector had been prioritised ahead of the disability sector despite the two being deemed as the most high risk.

The rollout in aged care is nearly complete, more than three months after it started.

But only 1000 disability care residents and 1500 staff have received their coronavirus vaccine.

“We’ve got to step up the performance there, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Morrison told reporters on Tuesday.

“I’m working with our health officials to achieve that.”

Mr Morrison said complacency could not set in despite the virus not spreading widely through Australia’s disability care facilities.

“That’s why we do need to do more and do better when it comes to ensuring that we’re getting the vaccination levels up in our disabled community.”

The government hopes to have priority groups vaccinated by the end of June.

Earlier, David Littleproud defended the failed vaccine rollout in disability care and falsely claimed there had been no coronavirus cases in the sector.

The federal agriculture minister insisted it was acceptable that fewer than 1000 people with disability in residential care had been vaccinated.

“Yes, because it’s part of the scheduled rollout,” Mr Littleproud told ABC radio.

Mr Littleproud said the bungled rollout had been “sensationalised” by his political opponents.

“There have been no cases of disability workers or people with disability,” he said.

But in fact, there have been many cases, including the deaths of at least eight participants on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and one support worker.