Catholic Health Australia calls for vaccination of community aged care workers

Pat Garcia, CEO, Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia (CHA), which represents not for profit residential and home-based aged care service providers, has called for National Cabinet to include community aged care workers in the vaccination rollout.

CHA has confirmed that the mandate announced by the National Cabinet on Monday night does not cover the around 150,000 workers who go into the community to care for around one million older Australians in their own homes. It only applies to workers in residential aged care homes and leaves people vulnerable to the more infectious Delta variant of the disease.

The aged care industry continues to grapple with opposition from employees to mandatory vaccination, with many threatening to leave the industry rather than be forced to be vaccinated. Many have voiced their concerns in the comment thread attached to this story by Inside Ageing – Mandatory vaccination proposal splits aged care.


CHA CEO Pat Garcia said the community aged care workforce needed protection just as much as residential aged care workers.

“Our workers need to feel confident in going out into the community just as the community needs to feel confident about letting them into their homes. If anything, given their role is to go out and about into the community these workers should be given absolute priority for protection. If we don’t do this then we risk opening up an obvious blind spot for COVID in our aged care.”

“I urge National Cabinet to extend mandatory COVID-19 vaccination to these workers and that they are not put to the back of the queue. These workers play a crucial role – for many of the most vulnerable in our community they are their connection to the outside world. We need to ensure that these workers and the older Australians who rely on their care and support are protected.”

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