Aged care industry to rally for mandatory vaccinations

FALLOUT FROM OUTBREAK: It was a very trying time for staff, residents and family members during the flu outbreak at St John’s Village in Wangaratta. PHOTO: Emma Hillier

THE aged care industry is expected to rally for compulsory flu vaccinations for all staff following a fatal outbreak that killed seven elderly residents at St John’s Village in Wangaratta.

Only 40 per cent of the 200 St John’s Wangaratta staff took the voluntary flu vaccination, administered at the workplace this year, in what will be a topic in the Commonwealth review into the incident.

The Wangaratta incident could potentially be the catalyst for change in legislation for nursing homes across the state, and potentially nationwide.
St John’s chief executive officer Glen Phelps said the industry will now lobby the Victorian Government to make it compulsory for staff to be immunised.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Acting Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton had a similar opinion however he did concede it was impossible to know who brought the virus into the facility initially.

“It will always be brought in and it’s impossible to know how it was but it’s that message about not visiting if you’re unwell,” Mr Sutton said.

This post is part of the thread: St John’s flu deaths – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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