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Wednesday 17 March 2021
Dear sector colleagues,
The federal Department of Health (DoH) issued an update to disability providers on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines on 11 March 2021. The update provides important information on the Commonwealth’s vaccine rollout to disability residential facilities.
In the coming weeks Healthdirect, on behalf of DoH, will be contacting providers to verify data about accommodation sites to support the continued planning for delivering vaccines to eligible disability facilities during Phase 1a of the rollout. Please note that the online data collection form is now open to allow for updating critical information for your sites.
A COVID-19 vaccination toolkit for disability services providers is now available on the DoH website. The toolkit is a collection of resources designed to assist providers to prepare for the rollout of the vaccines, and includes a range of fact sheets, checklists, and information about consent, along with a guideline on monitoring and reporting side effects and an excess dose policy. I strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with these excellent resources.
DoH recently hosted a webinar on the Phase 1a disability vaccine rollout. If you missed this informative event, you can view a recording of the webinar (Health TV, 58 mins).
Disability residential accommodation providers can access the latest provider alerts from the Commonwealth on the NDIS provider alert website. It is also recommended that you bookmark the DoH disability provider webpage which will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.
Vaccinations commence in DHS Disability Accommodation Services
Last week, Department of Human Services (DHS) frontline disability staff and the people we support in Disability Accommodation Services began receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations, with the first vaccine administered at our Northgate Aged Care Services disability facility.
Whilst the Commonwealth is leading the vaccination program to disability residential facility staff and clients, as a state-run service DHS is working in partnership with SA Health to deliver vaccinations to our workforce and clients.
More than 900 staff working in DHS Accommodation Services, as well as 500 people we support, will receive their vaccinations in coming weeks as part of Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This is a significant milestone for us, and I look forward to also seeing the first vaccinations rolling out across the NGO disability residential sector soon.
With many disability support staff representing a wide range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the State Government is working closely with these communities to provide the information and confidence they need to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine. Information in over 60 languages about the COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Department of Health website.
Over recent weeks, SA Health has published a number of excellent resources about the vaccines and vaccination program including this video featuring Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier (YouTube 2 mins), where she answers some of the top questions about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Further information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including the South Australian rollout, is available on the Government of South Australia COVID-19 vaccination page. Disability workers also feature in the SA Health 'Roll up' campaign — you can see printable 'Roll Up' posters here for your use (PDF 5.0 MB).
If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact DHS’s COVID-19 Response team at DHSCOVIDResponse@sa.gov.au