Peak bodies dismayed at Vic Govt’s lack of vaccine mandate for aged care visitors

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Victoria will not require visitors to aged care homes be fully vaccinated, a move which aged care peak bodies say creates an “additional and unnecessary risk of COVID-19 transmission”.

The Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) – an alliance of six aged care peak bodies – has expressed its dismay at Victoria’s new Public Health Order, which only encourages aged care visitors to be fully vaccinated rather than mandating it.

“Our priority is to ensure the wellbeing and safety of residents and the dedicated staff that care for them. This means doing all we can to balance protections against COVID-19 transmission and ensuring older Australians can receive visits from loved ones safely.

“The reality is that not all residents are vaccinated and even those who are vaccinated are still vulnerable. We would encourage all those who are considering visiting their loved ones to visit responsibly,” AACC said in a press release.

Additionally, the organisation points out that unvaccinated Victorians looking to visit loved ones in aged care facilities may still be disappointed, as the onus has been placed on operators to act in their residents’ best interests.

“The ambiguity also adds extra complexity and is a drain on resources for providers who are already experiencing workforce difficulties,” it said.

AACC does support NSW’s approach, which allows up to two fully vaccinated visitors to a residential aged care facility per day.