Feb 02, 2022

“Not good enough”: PM Scott Morrison under fire for booster shot photo op

ScoMo booster dose with resident
Image: Courtesy of 7News.

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”. 

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  1. I am proud to have worked in residential aged care for 50.5 years (excluding my 3 years training as a registered nurse). Sadly we see many residents pass away every year. This is a natural occurrence in old age. I don’t believe Greg Hunt’s comment regarding residents in palliative care and having Covid (which possibly hastened
    their passing) was intended to be disgracefully offensive.These residents were in their end of life.
    This is simply a political statement made by a labour politician. I am sick of the blame game that continues to occur by politicians and news reporters.

    1. Absolutely correct. Rather than trying to score political points, maybe Clare O’Neil’s time would be better spent looking up the definition of the word palliative.

      1. I’m just totally disgusted with this pm. He and his government have not done anything right. AND he refuses to apologise / accept responsibility.

        He’s NOT getting my vote in the next election.

    2. In addition no politician can be blamed for the roll-out of vaccinations to aged care residents.
      It depends on the availability of the vaccines and vaccinators from various services such as local area health vaccinators, GP and/or local Pharmacy services.

      1. The PM should have had his ducks in a row BEFORE “letting it rip”. i.e. arranged for all boosters to be delivered BEFORE they decided the economy was more important. If the vaccines weren’t available – then they SHOULD HAVE WAITED UNTIL THEY WERE!
        He KNEW, from the transmission spread of previous strains, that this would be much, much more virulent and STILL the Gov persisted in putting the “economy” over the citizens. It’s absolutely appalling the contempt this government has for especially elderly Australians – who have been the majority of their voting base for the last, at least 24 years, and ALL Australians with their lies, rorting, pork-barreling and offensive behaviour towards us all! Remember when he said women were lucky they weren’t shot for protesting him protecting more than one alleged rapist in OUR Parliament?

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