Malysiak received her two first vaccination shots with the PM, and was called up again to receive her third shot.
But the other residents of Brother Albert’s Home in Marayong, NSW, were told they would have to wait until February. Residents received their initial vaccine doses back in March and April 2021, so were eligible to receive their boosters.
The home’s chief executive, Alexandra Davis, told The Sydney Morning Herald, “Well, that’s not good enough.”
She organised for the other residents to receive their booster shots through a local GP.
Davis believes having those boosters saved lives, as no resident contracted COVID-19 even though staff tested positive.
This story is one of many examples of aged care homes being forced to wait extended periods for their booster clinics, often due to outbreaks occurring before the boosters were administered.
The government has come under fire for easing COVID-19 restrictions though vulnerable members of the community, such as aged care residents, had not received their booster shots.
Even when the Omicron strain began to spread rapidly, the government persisted to open up the economy.
He estimates that at least one in 10 aged care residents have not yet received their booster shots.
There are currently about 24,000 active COVID-19 cases in residential aged care across the country, with nearly 10,000 of those being resident cases.
There were nearly 400 COVID-19 deaths in residential aged care in January alone, with around half of those deaths in NSW.
NSW reported 12,818 new cases on Wednesday and 30 deaths, including a man in his 30s who had received two vaccine doses and had no significant underlying health conditions.
There are outbreaks in more than 1,200 aged care homes nationwide, including 555 in NSW.
Aged care minister Greg Hunt said the lower vaccination rates in aged care than in the general population is due to families not consenting to their frail relatives receiving the shots.
He said about 60% of COVID-19 deaths in aged care were deaths of those already in palliative care, and 25% of those who died had not received two vaccine doses.
Labor frontbencher, Clare O’Neil, jumped on the comments, describing them as “disgracefully offensive”.