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Media Release – Mandatory Covid Vaccinations for ACT Disability Support Workers

Published on October 20, 2021

Advocacy for Inclusion incorporating People with Disabilities ACT (AFI) welcomes the ACT Government’s decision to mandate Covid-19 vaccination for disability support workers.  This is a very welcome action responding to the concerns of the community.

With the lack of a decision at a national level to make vaccination mandatory for disability support workers, AFI thanks the ACT Government for making this decision to provide further reassurance to people with disability in the ACT.

CEO of Advocacy for Inclusion, Nicolas Lawler, states:

“Despite the high vaccination rate in the ACT, for people with disability the uncertainty and stress of not knowing the vaccination status of people who are coming into your home, and potentially providing intimate support such as food preparation and personal care, has been causing significant stress and concern for many in our community.  Unfortunately, we have already seen people withdrawing from supports or becoming more isolated due to fear of the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

For some who are not able to be vaccinated for medical reasons, or who are not eligible, such as children with disability, confidence in the vaccination status of those providing support is especially critical. 

AFI hopes that this decision removes the burden from people with disability of having to screen every worker, seek transparency on vaccination status and potentially re-organise supports, a process which can be difficult and complex to navigate for many people with disability. 

We also hope that the ACT Government’s decision provides further security and reassurance for people with disability during these uncertain times.  We hope that for people with disability, this additional action will increase confidence to continue to access vital supports. 

As we have seen similar directions in health and education settings, this is an important and very welcome acknowledgement from the ACT Government that people with disability are just as deserving of additional protections as we continue to navigate the pandemic.”