Australia launches COVID-19 vaccination reporting tool for aged care providers
Australia’s Department of Health has recently introduced a reporting tool on the My Aged Care portal where aged care service providers can report the COVID-19 vaccination status of their workforce.
Through the portal, approved providers can record de-identified data on the total number of workers at each aged care service; the number of workers who received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; as well as those who are fully vaccinated.
From 15 June, the weekly reporting of workforce vaccination status will be mandatory for all approved providers of residential aged care services. For those providers of in-home and community aged care services, the weekly reporting will become compulsory in the “coming weeks.”
WHY IT MATTERS
The Health Department last week said in its newsletter that the collection and reporting of the vaccination status of aged cared workers is “an important measure to provide greater health security for aged care residents and people receiving aged care services in the community.”
On Wednesday, the department said it is “strongly” encouraging all aged care service providers to start reporting.
THE LARGER TREND
State leaders across the country have manifested their in-principle disposition to mandate COVID-19 vaccination among aged care workers. But the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), a decision-making body for public health emergencies, has advised against such a move.
“Mandating COVID-19 vaccination must balance the rights of an individual in the workplace against the public health benefits of vaccination at the time and must take into account any unintended consequences such as impacts on workforce availability and delivery of care to residential aged care residents,” the AHPPC said in a recent statement.
Supporting the mandatory vaccination, Sara Blunt, chairperson of Aged and Community Services Australia said “the government must also give consideration to ensuring the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine scheme would not place unintended additional pressure on aged care workforce numbers.”
On Tuesday, Western Australia said it will be requiring the vaccination of aged care workers – the first state to do so – as it expanded the group of citizens who can now get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Health Department reminded that it is still voluntary for aged care workers in the country to disclose information about their vaccination, except in South Australia.
Australia has administered 5.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, as of late.