NDIS workers urged to share vaccine status

·2-min read

A service connecting NDIS participants with the care they need is asking support workers to declare their vaccination status amid concerns raised by the disability royal commission.

Kynd, a Queensland-based service that partners the disabled with specialist care, has added a vaccination tick-option to the online worker profiles it lists on its website and app.

More and more NDIS participants are requesting support workers who are COVID-vaccinated, says company spokeswoman Tiare Leahy.

"It is a concern for some people, especially those who might have an elderly parent or a compromised health condition themselves, but for others it's not an issue," she explained.

"We want to make sure NDIS participants using Kynd know they can easily check and choose."

The move follows a damning draft report this week in which the federal disability royal commission found the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to people with disabilities and their carers has been "seriously deficient".

It warned too many lives will be endangered if states and territories are allowed to ease restrictions once they hit 70 per cent double-vaccination targets in the national plan to reopen Australia.

Without all disabled Australians and their carers fully vaccinated, the former face "significant risks to their health", the commission found.

While Victoria saw fit to address the issue by moving to mandate vaccinations for disability support workers on Friday, a federal approach is still lacking.

According to official data, two thirds of NDIS participants in shared accommodation nationwide were double-dosed at 26 September, while 57 per cent of screened NDIS workers had received two jabs.

For all NDIS participants, not only those in group homes, only 40 per cent were fully immunised in mid-September.

Kynd allows participants or their families to connect and directly book independent care rather than waiting for organisations to respond.

Detailed worker profiles offer the ability to choose the best fit based on experience, interests and now vaccination status.

"Some of my support workers have been vaccinated," Brisbane participant Prudence McGee told AAP.

"I'm not really comfortable working with people who aren't vaccinated. I get sick very easily and I can't have the flu vaccine so it's quite reassuring knowing they're vaccinated."

The 31-year-old says she basically relies on others to protect her.

"Kynd gives people the choice and flexibility to select people based on what's important to them," founder Michael Metcalfe said.

"It's all about matching the right people. It's about being transparent and helping NDIS participants find the right support workers as fast as possible.

"When a support worker chooses to display their vaccination status, it helps avoid extremely awkward conversations."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting