Catholic Health wants mandatory vaccination of home care workers – including those visiting retirement villages

Published on

Catholic Health Australia CEO Pat Garcia (pictured), representing the country’s largest health group, wants Federal Government to extend the mandatory vaccination of aged care workers to include the approximately 150,000 home care workers.

Mr Garcia says Federal Government has created a loophole, which must be closed with the spread of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19.

The question needs to be asked: are non vaccinated home care workers allowed into your retirement village?

What about your village staff – are they ‘essential services’ and should also be required to be vaccinated?

Catholic Health Australia said in a statement it has confirmed that the mandate announced by the National Cabinet on Monday does not cover the around 150,000 workers who go into the community to care for around one million older Australians in their own homes. It only applies to workers in residential aged care homes.

Mr Garcia said the community aged care workforce needed protection just as much as residential aged care workers.

“Our workers need to feel confident in going out into the community just as the community needs to feel confident about letting them into their homes. If anything, given their role is to go out and about into the community these workers should be given absolute priority for protection. If we don’t do this then we risk opening up an obvious blind spot for COVID in our aged care,” he said.

“I urge National Cabinet to extend mandatory COVID-19 vaccination to these workers and that they are not put to the back of the queue. These workers play a crucial role – for many of the most vulnerable in our community they are their connection to the outside world. We need to ensure that these workers and the older Australians who rely on their care and support are protected.”

Federal Government advises “ïn-home and community aged care workers” to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a general practice.