Aug 23, 2021

Named and shamed: Vaccination rates at aged care homes made public

Vaccination rates at aged care homes made public

With less than one month before at least one COVID jab becomes mandatory for residential aged care staff, a new map, published on the Department of Health website is hoping to increase aged care vaccination rates by shaming staff into action.

According to the man in charge of the vaccine rollout, Lieutenant General John Frewen, the map will play an important role in ensuring that staff get their jab before the September 17 deadline.

“Vaccination of aged care workers is a priority for [the] government,” General Frewen said

“We will continue to pursue opportunities to fast track the vaccination program and enable residential aged care workers to receive a vaccine.”

The aged care sector has been fully engaged in getting its workforce vaccinated and the taskforce will continue to work with them to achieve this end,” he said.

Data shows that St Basil’s Fawkner, the facility where over 50 people died in an outbreak during the second wave, currently has over 90% of staff vaccinated with at least one COVID jab.

Meanwhile, less than 10% of staff working at Commonwealth-funded aged care facilities like St Vincent’s Care Services Kew and Honeysuckle Regional Health in Violet Town have had their first shot.

Statistically, the map shows that low vaccination rates are more common in regional parts of the country when compared to metropolitan areas. 

At least four aged care homes had their details withheld from the map to protect staff working at the facility with fewer than five staff members. 

In NSW, the proportion of aged care staff in Blacktown who have received at least one dose is 80-89%, while areas like Liverpool and Dubbo currently have vaccination rates that sit between 60-69%.

Last week, it was reported that more than 40% of aged care workers were yet to receive their first vaccination shot, despite the vast majority of Australia’s COVID-19 deaths being related to outbreaks in aged care. 

Aged care staff currently have priority status, which gives all staff members access to the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age.

Aged care providers are required to report vaccination rates at their homes and the online database will be updated on a weekly basis. 

What do you think about vaccination rates in Australia’s aged care home being made public? Share your thoughts below. 

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  1. The vaccine doesn’t stop u catching or transmitting covid. Its a 99% survival rate without vaccine why you pushing it. Too many people have died or seriously harmed from vaccine stop this mandate now. It will start to come out. Is the vaccine is safe why do you have to promotie it try and mandated and censor people.
    Poor aged care losing the only people they know as no family csn visit due to lockdowns now the staff are leaving cause u want to push a vaccine.

    1. If you are a registered nurse,doctor, physio, dietician or any other health care provider, then you are trained in health sciences. Emphasis on the word Science. So an educated, intelligent person would follow their registrations ethics and advisory board (ahpra) and get vaccinated. Just like we get childhood vaccinations, hepatitis B injections while in nursing training, tetanus injections when a patient scratches or bites us, and other vaccinations such as yellow fever when we travel abroad, covid is no different. If any health staff member actively tells residents/patients not to get covid injections and generally spouts anti vaccination conspiracy theories they can and should be reported to the nurses board. It is a nurses job to promote health. If staff in any health care setting refuse to get vaccinated (unless medically unable to do so) then they should not be a nurse and should lose their job. One wonders why they would become a health care provider in the first place. Also, the covid injections significantly reduce a person’s risk of dying should they catch it by about 75% or more depending on how many vaccinations you have had. Even just having one vaccine reduces your risk of death. This is not just like the flu. It is far worse, can kill people and can have lingering,debilitating long term effects such as exhaustion, mental impairment,damaged lungs,loss of smell and more.

    2. Peter, You could very well say this about the flu as well – we know there is a strong survival rate with the flu, and you can also still get it and spread it, but sysmptoms are less severe if you are vaccinated.
      Residents and staff need to get their flu vaccinations, particularly if they are elderly and vulnerable, which those in nursing home care are. In turn, they are way more susceptible to dying from a virus none of us have immunity to.
      Residents are relying on staff to protect them from coming in contact with the virus, which if by some chance they do, the symptoms have been shown to be less severe in vaccinated people. So along with vaccination of all staff and residents, it’s the best shot we have of keeping residents alive, long enough to return to seeing their families again.
      There are also other options available to families to stay in contact with residents, such as phone calls, video calls, and there are also in person visits in end of life care situations.
      If you want to be able to see your loved ones in care and not potentially kill them: Get vaccinated.

  2. I thought breaches of privacy, bullying and coercion was illegal. Its the government that should be named and shamed for fear mongering and manipulation.

  3. Just another example of bureacrats making decisions from behind a desk with absolutely NO idea what struggles happen in staffing an aged care home in regional/rural areas. I notice the RMH having numbers of staff self isolating because they didnt follow their own protocols. Where is the compulsory vaccination for other health care workers????…or are they to piss weak to fight the Unions on that one…

  4. It is fantastic that the rates are made public and very welcome to see something transparent about aged care homes. I see the map only publishes the wording eg “90-100% of staff with at least one dose”. I think it would be even more helpful to also know the figures for FULLY vaccinated, particularly as we still cant see our loved ones in person, despite being fully vaccinated ourselves. Our mother lives in an aged care home which tells us “100% of residents are vaccinated for both COVID and the flu. 99% of our staff have been vaccinated for both COVID and flu.” this is great… but does this mean FULLY vaccinated?? Pedantic but important. The Govt map does not give us this indication to corroborate the figures.

  5. Another aged care bashing exercise especially given Vax supply has been pitiful. My daughter who works in aged care had a booking for vaccination and it was cancelled because the vaccine was sent to NSW. It’s hard enough to get and retain people in the industry – just one more reason driving them away. WA wants to fine people. No mention of hospitals or other similar ops. Seems to be let’s keep bashing until there is nobody left to care.

  6. It is unfortunate that so many people do not understand that workers being vaccinated is about the human rights of Aged Care residents.
    Residents have very few choices, they have to accept the public health advice. To have workers who do not accept the public health advice is very worrying for some residents.
    How can they trust that those same workers follow the public health advice about personal hygiene, wound care, hydration and providing clean clothing ?

    Where does it stop ? Do workers choose which medications they believe in, do workers decide to skip providing medications because they think the resident is looking better today ?

    Employment supporting vulnerable people in Aged Care and Disability services is not easy work. However, the attention of staff is very greatly appreciated.

    Unfortunately it is not well paid. Staff are certainly not paid enough to ignore health and medical advice.

    If Aged Care workers do not understand this they should look for work somewhere else.

  7. I think this needs to be extended to health services including public and private hospitals as they are also exposing vulnerable people to potential risk of infection. Residential care staff didn’t have the same access and support as health service staff . Commonwealth outsourcing proved limited and missed so many staff. Improved incentives are now being offered, but providers often cannot free staff up to attend. It should have been routinely offered onsite. Not sure if naming and shaming captures the background context.

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