With only 50% of aged care residents receiving fourth COVID-19 dose, new Health and Aged Care Ministers want operators to show “sense of urgency”

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Mark Butler, Health and Aged Care Minister, and Anika Wells, Aged Care and Sport Minister, have jointly written to aged care operators asking them to act “with a sense of urgency” over providing a fourth COVID-19 dose to residents.

Department of Health data shows 63,515 aged care residents have had a fourth dose, which represents 51.3% of the eligible population.

“It’s clear the winter rollout in aged care has been too slow,” said Mr Butler.

“That’s why I wrote to all providers with (the aged care) minister, Anika Wells, last week – we said there must be a sense of urgency to protect residents and workers, and we meant it.

“We are urging all aged care facilities to prioritise the vaccination of all residents for a fourth dose.”

The winter rollout began on 4 April.

The warnings come as 1,753 aged care residents have died of COVID since January – the same number as the whole of last year. 110 residents died in the seven days to 10 June.

At 8am on 10 June, there were 3,331 residents and 1,610 staff (a 10% drop on the previous week) with COVID cases and 646 residential aged care homes with at least two cases of coronavirus.

Residents with COVID:

  • 1,026 in NSW;
  • 900 in Victoria;
  • 592 in WA;
  • 338 in QLD;
  • 274 in SA;
  • 98 in the ACT;
  • 85 in TAS; and
  • 18 in the NT.

About 166,000 residents have received three or more doses, which is 94% of the eligible population.