News National Ban on unvaccinated aged-care staff starts

Ban on unvaccinated aged-care staff starts

Aged-care vaccines behind
About 78 per cent of residential aged care workers are fully immunised against COVID-19. Photo: TND
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More than 20 per cent of aged-care workers aren’t fully vaccinated and a small proportion haven’t had a single dose as the sector’s coronavirus jab mandate begins.

Slightly more than 78 per cent of residential aged care workers are fully immunised while 96.9 per cent have received one dose.

Workers who have not had any vaccine won’t be rostered on until they get a jab following Friday’s national deadline for the industry.

Despite that, Health Minister Greg Hunt did not expect workforce shortages.

“We’re very confident – because we have focused on every single facility in Australia – that there’s workforce there,” he said on Friday.

“It has been difficult and it did require mandating and there are some who have different views about vaccination and that’s a reality across the country.”

About 800 staff have applied for exemptions, mostly temporary and on a medical basis.

A small number also have permanent conditions meaning they can’t be vaccinated.

Slightly more than 50 of 260,000 workers indicate the problem has not been willingness but access to a jab.

Mr Hunt said the next step would involve encouraging, supporting and providing confidence to get more workers vaccinated.

He said Australia had one of the world’s highest vaccination rates for aged-care workers because of the mandate.