COVID-19 Vaccinations: Facts For Seniors & Persons With A Disability
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
The COVID-19 vaccination rollout is taking place in phases, with each phase focussed on priority groups. This article relays information relevant to senior Australians and Australians living with a disability.
Phase 1a: The process for aged care and disability care residents
Phase 1a commenced on Sunday 21 February. This phase takes place in residential facilities, be they for aged care or disability care.
Residents will be given information on the vaccination so that they can make their own decision as to whether they wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
Some quick facts
- The vaccination is free.
- The vaccination is not mandatory. The decision to have it lies with the person receiving it.
- You must give your informed consent to receive the vaccination. If you are a carer of someone who is unable to give consent, find your loved one's Advanced Health Care Directive to establish whether they would have given consent to a vaccination. If there is no Advanced Health Care Directive, identify the most appropriate person to be the substitute decision maker.
- As the consent must be 'informed consent', residential aged care facilities and group homes will be providing Federal Government produced brochures and consent forms (in up to 63 languages) to residents well before vaccination day.
A helpful vaccination decision guide for frail older people is also available. Residents are encouraged to speak with their GP in advance about having the vaccination.
- The Pfizer vaccine, brand name 'Comirnaty', is the vaccination being rolled out to residential facilities. Comirnaty will be delivered as two jabs. The first should be followed by a second jab within 21 days of the first jab.
Trivia point: The name Comirnaty encapsulates the words community, immunity, mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) and COVID.
- A person who has had COVID-19 will have some natural immunity, however, medical science is unsure how long it will last. The medical recommendation is to still have the vaccination.
Vaccination day in residential facilities
Each facility will receive a date(s) for vaccination and a specialised government-appointed team will come into the facility and conduct the first and second rounds of the vaccinations onsite.
The person receiving the vaccination will be asked to:
- Wear a mask to the vaccination appointment, and
- Present their completed and signed 'Consent form for COVID-19 vaccination'. For the smooth running of the vaccination day, residential facilities will endeavour to have these forms completed in advance.
The person giving the vaccination will run through the answers given in the Consent form and ask questions around whether the recipient has: any allergies; an Epi Pen or has used one before; and a weakened immune system.
The vaccination will be given in the upper arm and, after receiving the jab, the recipient will be observed for a minimum of 15 minutes. The recipient will then be given the date of their second vaccination.
Phase 1b: Over 70 years of age, living at home
If you are over 70 years of age and live at home, you will be part of Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The full details of this roll out will be released as more vaccinations arrive in the country.
People in this phase will receive the Pfizer / Comirnaty vaccination.
Rollout of the vaccination will take place at 30 to 50 hospital hubs around the country.
Details of how you register for the vaccination at one of the hubs are yet to be released. I will keep you tuned.
Please be aware that my comments in this blog are given as guidance only and are no substitute for professional medical advice.
For advice and assistance on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion.
 COVID-19 Vaccination: What To Expect (Other Languages)
 COVID-19 Vaccination: Decision Guide For Frail Older People
 COVID-19 Vaccination: Information on Pfizer's Comirnaty Vaccine
 COVID-19 Vaccination: Consent Form