Health Minister Greg Hunt’s claim that 100 percent of aged care residents have been vaccinated appears to be in tatters after one woman said her grandmother’s facility has not even administered the first jab. Mr. Hunt initially said that 100 percent of Victorian residential aged care facilities have been vaccinated. However, he later backtracked, saying a “lack of uptake was down to residents refusing the jab.”
Now, in a startling new interview with The Project, Kate Howard says her family has been desperate for her 95-year-old grandmother to be vaccinated for months and that no one in the aged-care facility where she lives has even received the first dose of the vaccine.
“She, like the rest of our family, is incredibly keen, and we have been keen since the phase 1A rollout was announced in February, and we’ve done all that we can to try and make sure she is vaccinated,” said Ms. Howard told host Carrie Bickmore.
“We have been emailing since the start of March to try and get some understanding about who’s responsible and, you know, I’m over the politicking of this – I just want my grandmother vaccinated.” Ms. Howard said on the program that no residents in the home had yet been vaccinated, “despite all of us giving consent”.
Ms. Howard explained her family had signed consent for her grandmother’s vaccination on March 22, calling out Mr. Hunt’s claims last week that about 97 percent of aged care facilities across the country have been vaccinated so far. He said on Monday that vaccinations in aged care facilities were being brought forward “for those residents who did not receive first vaccinations, did not have the consent of their families or provide it themselves”.
She said her family was “incredibly anxious” and “doing all we can” and demanded Professor Michael Kidd, who on Monday also urged Victorians to get vaccinated, “show that you care about my grandmother and start acting and getting these people vaccinated”. Project host Waleed Aly interjected: “You said something that could potentially be a big story if I’ve got this right – you are saying in your grandmother’s home no-one has been vaccinated?”
“No, they’ve not received one jab yet. They’ve not had one vaccination yet. They’re waiting on their first dose. I believe less than half of the aged care workers have gone and got vaccinations off their own bat. However, the others are still remaining,” added Ms. Howard. When asked whether the details were recent and “as of today”, Ms. Howard replied her information was received on Monday afternoon after being in touch with her grandmother’s home.
Aly described the revelations as “extraordinary”.
Bickmore expressed her anger that the vaccine rollout to those in aged care facilities had not happened quicker.
“This makes me so angry,” she said.
“We’ve got family in aged care as well waiting for their second doses, and it’s taking far too long,” she said. “Especially given what we saw happen last year.”
Aged care Covid-19 shock deepens.
The shock revelation came as three of Monday’s five new local infections were linked to the aged care sector.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said one was the son of the first case in aged care – reported on Sunday – at the Arcare Maidstone facility.
Another case was a staff member at the same nursing home – the woman, who was not vaccinated, worked alongside the initial case.
Mr. Foley said the third case was a resident at the Arcare Maidstone home. She was a woman in her 90s, asymptomatic, and had been transferred to hospital.
It means two staff members and one resident have contracted coronavirus at Arcare Maidstone overall. At the same time, it was also revealed on Monday another worker at the BlueCross Western Gardens nursing home in Sunshine tested positive on Sunday night.
Michael Clarke, mayor of the local council area of Maribyrnong, where Arcare Maidstone is located, told the ABC’s Sarah Hall it was “terribly upsetting”, revealing the 94-year-old woman is in the “palliative stage of her care”.
“No one needs to die of Covid, no one at all”.
Mr. Clarke said he was “completely baffled” why Australia’s fleet of first responders and health care workers weren’t fully vaccinated and that he was yet to see “resolve” coming from the federal government.
“Very said,” he said.
Two other Royal Freemasons sites were also on high alert after two workers – one from Coppin Centre and the other from Royal Freemasons Footscray – worked at the Arcare Maidstone facility in the past week.
There are growing fears the emergence of the so-called “mystery cases” could mean Victoria’s lockdown will extend well past the Thursday deadline.
Epidemiologist Professor Mary Louise McLaws told the ABC she didn’t believe the state would be accessible by Friday as planned.
“We have a very high, very rapid increase over a short period,” she told the broadcaster. “I know this lockdown costs a billion a week, and that would make the authorities very anxious about extending it, but … it has to go certainly for 14 days.”