People with intellectual disability, including those who live in group homes, are being left behind by the vaccine rollout and this needs to be fixed now.
“Yesterday’s Senate Estimates revealed that fewer than 2 per cent of people with disability living in group homes had been fully vaccinated. This is unacceptable,” said Catherine McAlpine, CEO of Inclusion Australia.
“People with intellectual disability were promised access to COVID vaccines in the first stage of the rollout, but that hasn’t happened, leaving them exposed to any potential outbreak.”
People with intellectual disability who live in group homes are part of Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout due to their heightened risk of COVID. There are over 20,000 people with disability living in group homes, and most are people with intellectual disability.
“People with intellectual disability and their families are sick of the blame game about what’s gone wrong with the vaccine rollout – we want to see action, and we want to see it now,” said Ms McAlpine.
“I’m calling on the Australian Government to urgently review all aspects of the vaccine rollout for people with intellectual disability, and to get serious about getting it on track.”
“Inclusion Australia, and our state member organisations, have been increasingly hearing from people with intellectual disability and their families, that they are feeling forgotten and ignored in the vaccine rollout,” said Ms McAlpine.
“People with intellectual disability who live in group homes have been on lockdown for much of the last year – they need to be vaccinated now so they can see their family and friends, and get back to living their lives.”
“The best way for people with intellectual disability to be safe from COVID is to be vaccinated, and for their families and those who support them to also be vaccinated,” said Ms McAlpine.
“We welcome Minister Reynolds’ announcement of some targeted action in Victoria, however we need urgent measures now right across Australia to get the vaccination rollout on track for people with intellectual disability and their families.”