Australian aged care workers denied second vaccine jab

A group of aged care workers from South Australia who have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine are reportedly being turned away from getting their second jab.

An injection is given into a person’s shoulder.
The group of aged care workers were allegedly told to get their second shot administered from general practitioners, who only stock the AstraZeneca vaccine, an entirely different jab. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN, April 8 (ANA) – A group of aged care workers from South Australia who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine are reportedly being turned away from getting their second jab.

The Guardian reported on Thursday that the staff who formed part of the high-priority category in the national vaccination rollout were meant to have their second jab administered within three weeks of the first.

However, the group who work at the Southern Cross Care Facilities were allegedly told to get their second shot administered from general practitioners, who currently only stock the AstraZeneca vaccine, an entirely different jab.

“It’s very confusing for the workers, but it’s also deeply concerning and really sends a message yet again to aged care workers that they don’t matter, that they’re at the back of the queue,” United Workers Union director Carolyn Smith told the Guardian.

“The federal government is rolling out vaccinations… it’s really just a mess of quite outrageous proportions,” she said.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne’s east, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that aged care workers who wanted to get their second second shot were turned away after doctors allegedly said there were no records of them in the Australian Immunisation Register to show them having received the first dose.

President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Karen Price, said it’s critical people get the correct second dose and that it needs to be administered after at least 21 days and up to 42 days between doses.

“You can’t give them a first dose of Pfizer and a second dose of AstraZeneca. That is just absolutely not on… the planning for the second dose has to be watertight,” said Price.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made it clear in a press conference on Wednesday that vaccine supply has been an issue and that Australia has called on the European Union (EU) to supply its three million AstraZeneca doses which they have not received.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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