Kymberly Martin
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Additional vaccination support for NDIS participants

From September 20, there will be rapid rollout of the Moderna vaccine through 3,600 community pharmacies nationally. There are currently more than 9,000 places where people can get vaccinated, that also includes GPs, pharmacists, ACCHOs, Commonwealth vaccination clinics and state and territory operated vaccination clinics.

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NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds said additional measures are in place to assist NDIS participants and their support workers and families. “We have implemented a number of measures to provide additional support for NDIS participants and their support workers to get vaccinated in a way that works for them,” the minister said.  

The following measures already in place include:

  • A $150 support payment for all eligible NDIS providers to help participants book and attend a community vaccine site
  • A Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item is available for GPs and other medical practitioners working in a GP setting to conduct a Covid-19 vaccination at a patient’s place of residence
  • In addition to Commonwealth in-reach vaccination services to residential disability accommodation sites, dedicated disability vaccination hubs, run in conjunction with NDIS providers, are in place across most states and territories. These hubs are available to NDIS participants, their carers and support workers.

The Commonwealth continues to consult with disability community stakeholders, as it considers additional targeted measures to support people who choose to be vaccinated.

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As at September 13, vaccination rates were:

  • For NDIS participants in shared residential accommodation, 72.8 per cent have received one dose, and 62.5 per cent have received two doses
  • For all NDIS participants aged 16 years and over, 57.6 per cent of all eligible NDIS participants have received at least one dose, and 38.8 per cent have had two doses
  • For NDIS participants aged 12-15 years, 10.5 per cent have received at least one dose since becoming eligible in late August
  • For NDIS screened support workers, 69 per cent have received at least one dose, and 51.4 per cent have had two doses. In jurisdictions with community transmission and lockdowns, vaccination rates are higher, with 77 per cent of screened support workers in NSW, 73.6 per cent in Victoria and 75.1 per cent in the ACT having received at least one dose.

Catholic Health Australia is urging the government to mandate vaccinations for disability support workers. The peak body, representing some of the largest providers of community care, wants a Commonwealth vaccination program like the one in place for residential aged care workers.

Mission and Strategy director, Rebecca Burdick Davies said as new supplies of Covid vaccines come on stream there is no excuse for not mandating vaccines for disability support workers. “Our members are already organisation the vaccination of staff,” she said. “But for the minority who are hesitating that hard push from government will draw a line in the sand.”