Disabled people given more vaccine options

·2-min read

People with disabilities will have access to dedicated vaccination hubs in central locations as the Morrison government tries to speed up the rollout across the sector.

Support workers and primary carers will also be able to attend the sites.

Disability Minister Linda Reynolds said the dedicated hubs would provide safe and accessible places for people with disability to receive their shots.

"These hubs allow providers, in partnership with the Commonwealth government and vaccine providers, to ensure some of the most vulnerable Australians and their support workers and carers can be vaccinated faster," she said on Friday.

Just 355 of the more than 22,000 people living in disability care have been fully vaccinated, despite being identified as a priority group.

But Senator Reynolds said the number of National Disability Insurance Scheme participants who had been given at least one dose of the vaccine had increased to 38,000 by June 1.

"That's an increase of approximately 6600 since May 25," she said.

A disability-specific vaccination hub will open at Dandenong in southeast Melbourne next week, complementing one already running in the northern suburb of Thomastown.

Another will open in the Adelaide suburb of Medindie.

Later this month, dedicated sites will established in Newcastle and the NSW Central Coast.

NDIS providers in the vicinity of the hubs will be contacted as they open to confirm local access arrangements for participants, their carers and support workers.

Senator Reynolds said plans were well advanced to open further hubs nationally in coming weeks.

Confirmation of the dedicated hubs comes after Senator Reynolds announced $150 support payments to assist people in disability group homes to get vaccinations off site.

People with disabilities can access vaccines through primary care sites, state and territory operated clinics, Commonwealth hubs and GP in-reach services.

State and federal government leaders are considering mandating the vaccine for aged care workers.

National Disability Services boss David Moody wants them to consider doing the same for frontline disability workers.

A recent University of Melbourne study found half of frontline disability workers did not want to get the jab.

Mr Moody said their reluctance was a major problem that could compromise how providers care for people with disabilities.

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