Coronavirus vaccines are being made available to all National Disability Insurance Scheme participants aged over 16.
National cabinet has approved the rapid expansion to speed up the sluggish vaccine rollout across the vulnerable disability sector.
It comes after dedicated vaccination hubs for people with disabilities, support workers and primary carers were given the green light.
“We are working quickly to provide more locations for people to receive their vaccination in safe, accessible settings,” Disability Minister Linda Reynolds said on Tuesday.
“It is a particularly important step forward that both paid and unpaid carers of NDIS participants are now able to get the vaccination as soon as possible.”
The number of vaccinated NDIS participants is slowly growing.
Almost 40,500 NDIS participants (16 per cent) across Australia have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
More than 7800 NDIS participants living in group homes and aged care settings – 28 per cent of the population – have been given at least one jab.
However, people in disability care were considered the highest priority group and the federal government’s vaccine rollout remains months behind schedule.
Sebastian Zagarella from People with Disability Australia is concerned the community is being left behind in the vaccine rollout.
“We need all levels of government to work together so disabled people get prioritised and can access COVID jabs,” he said.
“People in our community include Australian residents who are really at risk of getting ill from the virus.”
More than 40 per cent of disabled people surveyed by the advocacy group said it was urgent to get the jab.
Worryingly, 44.5 per cent of respondents said they were willing to wait or were not sure whether they wanted to get vaccinated.
Anecdotally, the advocacy group has heard disabled people were holding off being vaccinated because they were concerned about the risks of receiving the AstraZeneca jab and would prefer to get the Pfizer vaccine.
AstraZeneca has been linked to a very small number of extremely rare blood clots.
Almost seven per cent of survey respondents said they could not get the vaccine for medical reasons.