On Friday 4 June Linda Reynolds, Minister for the NDIS, published a media release outlining improved opportunities for people with disability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in a way that is safe, accessible and supportive of additional needs. Our community across Victoria have been eagerly awaiting this progression.
The key points are:
- The Morrison Government is establishing dedicated hubs in key locations for NDIS participants in Phase 1 to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
- NDIS disability workers and primary carers of people with disability will also be able to access the hubs.
- In Victoria, there is now a disability specific hub in Thomastown, and a hub in Dandenong is soon to be established.
In addition, the DHHS Disability Liaison Officer Program is:
- Currently in the process of completing further enhanced assessment of sites and working on options including sensory hours for key sites.
- If you have specific disability support needs in accessing the vaccine, you are encouraged to email the Disability Liaison Officer Program DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au for assistance.
You may also like to visit this Department of Health website offering information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines.
While this may not be the immediate result we were hoping for in terms of providing equitable access for all Victorians to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we’re pleased to see these advancements as a starting point. Please be assured that DSV is part of a number of conversations with government departments regarding this issue. We are working hard to advocate for members of our community who require additional support should they wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, including for people with Down syndrome under the age of 50 years to have the option to request the Pfizer vaccine through their local GP or at their home should sensory or mobility challenges prevent attending a vaccination hub or clinic.
We will continue to update you regarding this issue as more information becomes available.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Down Syndrome Victoria with any questions or concerns on 9486 9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.