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Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines

By August 14, 2021No Comments

Information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability.

COVID-19 vaccination logo – no tag

People with disability and disability workers are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Some people with disability are at greater risk of becoming very sick if they catch COVID-19, so getting vaccinated is very important.

People with disability who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • all NDIS participants aged 16 years and over
  • people with disability with:
    • an underlying medical condition
    • significant disability
    • attending centre-based services such as day programs, respite care and supported employment.

You can check your eligibility on the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker and also check your state/territory health department’s website for any additional eligibility requirements.

Deciding to get vaccinated for COVID-19

Vaccinations in Australia, including the COVID-19 vaccine, are voluntary. However, everyone must give informed consent before they can get the vaccine.

Final consent is your decision and/or the person who supports you to make decisions.

You can talk about the risks and benefits of the vaccine with your:

  • health professional
  • family
  • carer
  • substitute decision maker.

To be vaccinated, you will need to provide consent to the person giving you the vaccination and, in some cases, your disability provider. You may need to fill out a consent form if you don’t get vaccinated by your regular GP.

Learn which vaccine you will receive

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recently updated the advice about who should receive each type of vaccine. The updated recommendation is:

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend that people who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without serious adverse events should have a second dose.

There may be some exceptions to this, depending on where you get your vaccination.

Access to the AstraZeneca vaccine is being expanded to adults under 40, provided they give informed consent to their vaccination provider.

There will be no impact for the priority phases of the disability vaccine rollout. For people with disability outside of these cohorts, the delivery of AstraZeneca needs to be discussed with the individuals GP.

Where to get your vaccine

There are a number of ways you can get your COVID-19 vaccine:

If you live in a residential setting of 2 or more people with disability:

  • you can be vaccinated at your residence by a vaccination provider we will organise
  • you can be vaccinated at your residence by your GP if they are able to
  • you can go to a vaccination clinic or a GP.

Your provider can help arrange your preferred option. We have developed a flowchart to help understand your options.

If you don’t live in a residential setting with 2 or more people with disability and are aged 60 years and over, you can also be vaccinated at:

  • an AstraZeneca vaccination clinic
  • a participating general practice
  • an Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Service.

If you don’t live in a residential setting and are under 60 years, you can be vaccinated at:

  • a Pfizer vaccination clinic.

How to book an appointment

In your home

If you live in a residential setting of 2 or more people with disability, the Australian Government vaccine providers will contact your disability provider. They will arrange a time and date for a vaccination team to come to your home.

At a vaccination centre

To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, use the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker. If you prefer to book appointments directly at a participating general practice or vaccination clinic, you can contact them directly.

You can also find out about how to book in for your vaccination appointment by contacting the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Getting support on vaccination day

Whether you are getting your vaccination at home or you are going to a clinic or GP, you can choose if you want someone with you. This could be:

  • support worker
  • family member
  • carer
  • friend.

You will still need to stay COVIDSafe and practise good hygiene and physical distancing, after getting your vaccination.

Your support workers

You have a choice over who you employ to support you.

You can ask your disability service provider to encourage your support worker to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

If your worker doesn’t want to be vaccinated, and this is an issue for you, contact your service provider. Your service provider will talk to about other arrangements for your support worker. This may mean finding a different support worker for you.

Accessing your supports and services if you choose not to be vaccinated

If a disability service provider or support worker refuses to continue providing supports to you because you decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or because you have had the vaccine, it could be a breach of the NDIS Code of Conduct. If this happens, you can make a complaint to the NDIS Commission.

Your carers

People who provide care, support or services, whether paid or unpaid, in any of the following health, aged or disability care jobs or settings are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • in-home aged or disability care
  • respite aged or disability care
  • residential aged care facility or disability accommodation
  • community disability and aged care, including centre-based care and day programs
  • carers or support workers for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants

Other people who regularly engage with people who are aged or with disability are also eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, such as:

  • volunteers
  • onsite administrative staff
  • cleaners, kitchen staff and other ancillary staff
  • students on placement
  • supported employment providers
  • aged care assessment teams
  • conducting regulatory activities
  • providing advocacy services
  • providing transport
  • in an educational, employment, or recreational setting.

If you are a carer or support volunteer for someone with an underlying medical condition, you are also eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

These people will need to provide evidence of their eligibility when they attend for a vaccination. This can include an ID card or a letter from their employer or the service they work in.

Other priority groups

Some people with disability may also belong to other priority groups. Such as, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or people living in aged care. You can find information about the rollout for these groups here:

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