Disability care workers could soon be forced to get a coronavirus vaccine, with National Cabinet set to consider mandating jabs for the sector.
The Minister Responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Linda Reynolds, has said she wants the COVID-19 vaccines to be mandatory for workers in disability care.
“I’ll note that nearly 40,000 disability support workers have already been vaccinated, but I would certainly like to see it become mandatory,” she said.
“It is certainly an issue that we’ve been working with states and territories on. It is very important; I believe that disability support workers, particularly those who work in disability accommodation, are vaccinated to protect those that they look after.”
The compulsory jab policy has been recommended by a panel of health experts and will be debated at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.
The proposed mandate follows a similar order imposed on aged care workers, who must receive at least one dose by mid-September to remain employed in the industry.
The federal government provides nursing home staff paid leave to get vaccinated and a day off if they experience side effects.
Just one-third of the disability workforce has received one vaccine dose, and only 15 percent are fully protected.
Many disability workers are incredibly keen to get vaccinated but have been hampered by the lack of supplies and easy access to jabs.