Vaccine mandate to cover disability care

(Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP)

Disability care workers will soon be forced to get coronavirus vaccines if they want to keep their jobs.

The compulsory jab policy has been recommended by a panel of health experts and will be debated at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

The proposed mandate follows a similar order imposed on aged care workers, who must receive at least one dose by mid-September to remain employed in the industry.

The federal government is providing nursing home staff paid leave to get vaccinated and take a day off if they experience side effects.

Just one third of the disability workforce has received one vaccine dose and only 15 per cent are fully protected.

Federal Disability Minister Linda Reynolds is calling on state and territory leaders to endorse the vaccine mandate.

Less than 50 per cent of Australians living in disability care have received one dose of the vaccine and less than one in four residents are fully vaccinated.

Senator Reynolds said she expected everyone living in disability care to be vaccinated “within a couple of months”.

Disability care providers and unions are supportive of the workforce mandate, so long as the vaccines are easy to access and paid leave is provided.


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