AUTHORITIES believe they have contained a worrying outbreak in residential aged care in Melbourne’s west, but the scare has prompted action to get more aged care staff vaccinated.

As of today, all staff in aged and disability care will be given access at designated community vaccination hubs, including the one operating at the Wonthaggi Town Hall.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan, made the announcement supporting aged care staff on Tuesday afternoon, June 1.

“Our dedicated and hardworking aged care and disability workers need easy access to the vaccine so, as the Minister said, we are going to make it easier for them.

“We will be undertaking a five-day vaccine blitz to ensure workers in these vulnerable settings are protected against Coronavirus. This means from Wednesday, June 2 to Sunday, June 6, workers in private sector aged care facilities and in the residential disability sector, which are all managed by the Commonwealth, will be given priority access to walk-in vaccination hubs around Victoria between 9am and 4pm when they present evidence of their employment.”

He gave a list of various community vaccination hubs, including the Traralgon Racecourse in Gippsland, however, while Minister Donnnellan didn’t mention the vaccination hub at the Wonthaggi Town Hall, organisers have confirmed that the same priority access will be extended to local aged care workers there as well.

“Aged Care and disability workers are currently eligible to be vaccinated at state hubs but this is very much about trying to stimulate that demand, trying to actually get more workers to get greater coverage in the private aged care sector, and also the disability sector.

“We have concerns that there isn’t enough coverage, so, that’s very much why we’re stepping in.

“This is very much a call to arms of those workers who are on the front line. It’s very much ‘come out, we’ll give you a priority lane so it makes it quicker and easier to get through in a speedier time’ because we very much want to ensure we’re protecting those vulnerable people in both the aged care facilities and the disability sector from COVID-19.”

Mr Donnellan said there would also be services provided to people with disabilities in residential aged care settings so they could better access the vaccine.