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Leading national aged care provider Hall & Prior has today received confirmation that all of its 2,000+ residential aged care staff across Australia have had at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The roll-out has been achieved thanks to Hall & Prior’s contract with the Commonwealth Government to access the national Pfizer stockpile and provide in-house vaccination clinics to staff.
The focus is now on ensuring that the remaining 21 per cent of staff who are still awaiting their second dose can receive one.
Hall & Prior will deliver a report on their vaccination program to the Commonwealth Department of Health with recommendations on how to make COVID-19 vaccinations available to both aged care residents and staff on an ongoing basis.
Hall & Prior Chief Executive Officer Graeme Prior said the results across the group were encouraging, but the focus needed to remain on vaccines throughout the industry to keep vulnerable residents safe.
“This number shows an outstanding commitment to care by our amazing staff who are putting the safety of our residents first, our number one priority at Hall & Prior,” Mr Prior said.
Hall & Prior is advocating for all contractors and visitors to residential aged care facilities to be vaccinated, similar to the requirement for compulsory influenza vaccines that was introduced in 2020.
For this to be sustainable, the Commonwealth will need to provide extra funding to aged care providers, supporting them to supply vaccines to visitors at a equivalent rate to what GPs are currently paid for vaccine provision.
This will also allow aged care providers to support vaccines in the broader community.
Extra funding will allow appropriately trained staff to continue to roll-out ongoing vaccine programs in the sector.
“This was the first stage in what will become an ongoing vaccination program to protect both our residents and staff from COVID-19,” Mr Prior added.
“Our high uptake of vaccines is mainly due to having vaccine competent Registered Nurses on our staff, who are able to deliver vaccines to their colleagues, in their place of work.
“I thank our staff for being so willing to receive the vaccine and I thank our experienced COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce for getting this done in time for the September 17 deadline.”