The Marshall Liberal Government is today taking a further step to protect our most vulnerable South Australians from the effects of COVID-19 by opening SA Health Pfizer clinics to all residential aged care workers.
Premier Steven Marshall said the COVID-19 vaccination plan in South Australia is being realigned to support the Commonwealth to complete the vaccination of residential aged care staff.
“The COVID-19 vaccination program is our doorway out of the pandemic and giving all South Australians access to the vaccine a key priority in keeping our state safe and strong,” said Premier Marshall.
“Within Commonwealth supplies of the vaccine, SA Health is able to broaden the vaccine rollout to enable all staff in residential aged care facilities, regardless of age, to access the Pfizer vaccine.
“Given the vulnerability of residential aged care facilities highlighted by what is happening in Victoria, we want to ensure that facility workers are fully vaccinated as soon as possible in order to protect some of the most vulnerable people within our community.”
“The Commonwealth is continuing to vaccinate residential aged care facility residents.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the move was another example of the Government being agile in getting the vaccine to where it is needed the most.
“We are continuing to scale up the state’s vaccine rollout in a way that, in accord with the latest health advice, best protects South Australians and optimises the use of vaccine supplies,” said Minister Wade.
“With the majority of South Australian aged care residents now having received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are providing further support to protect this vulnerable part of our population by providing vaccinations to the staff who provide care.
“We need to do everything we can to prevent an outbreak in one of our aged care facilities. Broadening our rollout will improve the layers of protection.”
Chief Public Health Officer, Prof Nicola Spurrier, said mid-May data showed that only approximately 10 percent of staff in residential aged care facilities were fully immunised against COVID-19, while 20 percent of staff had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We know there are many people who work in residential aged care who are 50 years and older, and with the change of clinical advice from ATAGI in April, this age group is now generally recommended to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. The downside is that there is a twelve week interval between doses,” said Professor Spurrier.
“It is very important that we increase the number of fully vaccinated residential aged care workers so that we can reduce the likelihood of the deadly disease being transmitted to vulnerable residents in residential aged care facilities.
“The Pfizer vaccine requires a three week interval between doses and this is a way we can provide quicker protection to residential aged care workers.
“The Pfizer vaccine will be available for anyone who works in a residential aged care facility, including clinical, administrative and support staff, no matter their age and I encourage them all to roll up and get vaccinated to protect their residents, their loved ones and the wider community.”
Residential aged care workers under 50 years old can book their vaccination online at covidvaccine.sa.gov.au, while residential aged care workers aged 50 years and over can book their vaccination by calling 1800 253 787.
Residential aged care workers will need to bring proof of employment to their appointment, such as a payslip, letter from their employers or current work ID card showing their employment.
Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at covidvaccine.sa.gov.au.