Fourth COVID-19 dose now available for aged care residents as cases in residential care continue to climb

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Aged care providers should be preparing for the delivery of COVID-19 winter vaccines for residents, with the option to administer flu vaccinations at the same time.

94.9% (164,655) of aged care residents have had an initial booster COVID-19 dose as of 11 April. 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at aged care homes since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended that aged care residents and other vulnerable groups receive their COVID-19 winter dose from four months after their initial booster dose (third dose). In special circumstances, such as in residential aged care, the COVID-19 winter dose can be administered at a shorter interval but not less than three months after the initial booster dose.

The Commonwealth Department of Health said aged care providers should be engaging with primary care providers and discussing the program with residents and workers. Aged care providers previously approved by the Commonwealth to conduct their self-run on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics can opt to run their own COVID-19 winter dose clinics.

The number of COVID-19 cases in residents and aged care homes continues to rise. At 8pm on 7 April 2022, there were 5,198 COVID-19 cases in 761 residential aged care facilities. Of these, 2,808 cases are in residents and 2,390 cases are in staff.

This is an increase of 1,234 cases, and a further 103 aged care homes have had COVID-19 in the past seven days. The number of residents to have died with or from COVID-19 this year continues to increase after passing 1,000. The death toll, as of last Friday, is 1,057.