A statement from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) says that while it “strongly encourages” aged care nurses and carers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is “concerned” that mandating vaccinations for the aged care workforce could be a “political decision, not a health decision”.
There is still confusion and insufficient detail about how mandatory vaccinations will be implemented for these workers, if there is enough supply of the vaccine, and the special paid leave assistance from the government only amounts to $30 per worker, according to the ANMF.
“The Morrison government’s promises for aged care just keep coming, but at this stage, there are more questions than answers,” said ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler.
“The critical issues now are access to vaccines and support for aged care staff,” she said.
The vaccine roll-out in private aged care homes has been “an absolute shambles,” Butler said.
“We need guaranteed access to vaccines for all aged care workers and paid leave to support that access and management of any reactions they may experience.”
“We still don’t know how vaccinations will be mandated,” said Butler. “Will they access on-site where they work, or will they be forced to source their own?”
The ANMF has written to the Prime Minister with 14 questions seeking clarity urgently:
Aged care workers need clarity, not only for their health, but for the wellbeing and safety of the vulnerable residents they care for.
What do you think about the 14 questions raised above for the Prime Minister, by ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler? Share your thoughts below.