South Australian aged care workers have been left in vaccine limbo as confusion surrounds the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in South Australian aged care facilities.
Workers in two Southern Cross Care (SA) aged care facilities report that after receiving their first Pfizer vaccination on site, they have been given unclear and conflicting advice about where to get their second jab.
The failure to offer second jabs to workers leaves them without a full vaccination and the clock ticking on a recommended 21-day time limit between receiving the first and second Pfizer jabs.
Some workers have even been told to go to their GP – an inherently unsound option given GPs are dispensing the AstraZeneca vaccine and there is clear medical advice against mixing vaccines.
On top of those workers who missed the second jab, workers describe a chaotic system in which there have been unclear notifications about when to get the vaccine, shortages of supply, and some workers missing out altogether.
“Aged care workers were told they would receive their vaccinations on-site and they were prioritised as 1A in the vaccine rollout,” Carolyn Smith, director of aged care at United Workers Union, said today.
“Now we hear aged care workers are missing out altogether. Others have been served up vaccine ‘leftovers’ for their first jab, and they can’t even get their second jab on-site.
“Even worse, when they try to find out where to go, they get the runaround and they are left in vaccine limbo.
“Workers are being left without vaccinations or partially vaccinated, with no advice about the path forward.
“It’s just another example where the Federal Government is failing to keep older Australians safe in aged care.
“Aged care workers have been on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis, protecting the generation of Australians who made this country what it is today.
“Yet the Morrison Government has once again failed older Australians, their families and aged care workers.”
About 20 workers at Southern Cross Care (SA) facilities Pines and Bucklands have been told the second jab of the Pfizer vaccine is not available at their aged care facility.
Workers have been given conflicting advice including:
Statements from workers regarding not getting the second shot:
“I had one shot at Pines and the lady who did my shots told me to go (to) either RAH, Flinders or Queen Elisabeth Hospital for my 2nd shots and to get the same brand as well.”
“Only had one (jab). I got in touch with SA Health and they said to me that the employer needs to provide me a link via email so I can book into the RAH. Manager said they haven’t been told about that.”