Dr HAINES (Indi) (14:18):

My question is to the Minister for Health. People with disability in the regions are among those who need the vaccine the most. Yesterday I spoke to a highly distressed mother from my electorate whose young adult son has multiple disabilities and a very serious lung condition. Her son cannot access the Pfizer vaccine in his town and could not get an appointment at the vaccine hub 80 kilometres away. Why is he still waiting, Minister, and what are you doing right now to fix this dangerous situation?

Mr HUNT (Flinders—Minister for Health and Aged Care) (14:19):

I thank the member for Indi. In relation to in-reach as well as the outreach opportunities for Australian disability residents, so far we have had in-reach to over 530 facilities around the country. In particular, we note that in relation to Victoria, with regard to vaccines for disability residents, there is a total dosage of 2,878 which has been provided to disability residents, covering over 2,099 people—that is, 1,320 who have had one dose and 779 who have had two doses. In addition to that, we are working to ensure that there is a plan for each resident, as developed with their provider. There are five different options, depending on the needs of the home and the resident.

With regard to the particular individual, I’d be very happy to receive the details. If they are in a group that is immobile, so either themselves or others in the home are not mobile, then they will receive in-reach in one of two ways, either from general practices or from the specific clinics provided by the providers who are reaching into the homes, of which there have been over 530 nationwide already. If they are mobile then we’re in a position to ensure that they have access to the 30 general practices, primary healthcare sites, within the member’s electorate and the Commonwealth vaccination clinic. In addition to that, there is access to the state clinics that are specifically set up and taking those with disability, as the Prime Minister referred to in his previous answer to the 22 April decision of the national cabinet to ensure that residents and workers in the disability sector are able to attend state clinics. I would invite the member subsequent to question time to send us the details, so that we can correlate and understand whether or not an in-reach visit has been scheduled or whether the person is able to travel to an outreach site. Either way we will make sure that their needs are met and that they are vaccinated.

Sign up

Keep up to date with the latest news and information