Disability Royal Commission recommends delaying opening up until people living with disabilities vaccinated

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The Disability Royal Commission has described the Federal Government’s vaccine rollout to the disability community as “seriously deficient” and lacking in transparency.

In a draft report released today, the Commission acknowledges that while the Australian Government Department of Health confronted major challenges in framing the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy it failed to meet these challenges especially to people living with disabilities and disability support workers.

The Commission is now calling for the Federal Government to not allow state and territory governments to ease COVID-19 restriction until people with disabilities have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said that the rollout of the vaccine to people with disabilities had, by any measure, been poor.

“Today’s draft report finds the Government failed to consult with the disability sector, that it lacked transparency in decision making and it failed to provide clear and easily understood information about vaccines and the rollout,” Francis Sullivan said.

“Because of the Government’s failure to provide enough vaccine for the entire community, people with disabilities have been, yet again, left at the back of the queue.

“Many are still unvaccinated and in a precarious position as governments around Australia start talking about relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.

“Without the opportunity to be vaccinated, they face significant risks to their health if they contract COVID-19.

“This is a major problem of the Federal Government’s own making and a clear result of its failure to access enough vaccines in the first place,” Mr Sullivan said.

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Vaccine rollout is seriously deficient for people with disabilities, Catholic Leader

Media Contact: Michael Salmon | 0417 495 018

GPO Box 1947, Canberra ACT 2601. T 02 6285 1366 | E [email protected]

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