Data on aged care vaccination rates made public as COVID tensions grow

By Melissa Coade

Monday August 23, 2021

The health department has published a map on its website including data on the vaccination rates of aged care facilities across the nation.
The health department has published a map on its website including data on the vaccination rates of aged care facilities across the nation. (Evrymmnt/Adobe)

After a weekend of violent demonstrations against lockdown and other public health restrictions, the Australian health department has published a map on its website including data on the vaccination rates of aged care facilities across the nation.

The data map went live on Monday morning and reveals the average level of COVID-19 immunisation by geographic location. The data does not include exemptions under public health orders.

Using a colour coded system, the map shows eight bands of vaccination coverage of aged care workers. In Victoria, the data shows a high rate of jabs have been administered in facilities located in Sunbury, Maryborough-Pyrenees, and Glenelg – Southern Grampians with 90-100% coverage. Other aged care facilities in the inner city suburbs closer to Melbourne, are sitting at between 50-59% to 80-89%.

In NSW, the regional Broken Hill and Far West catchment has kicked vaccination rates out of the park with 90-100% of the aged care workforce vaccinated. Carlingford, Blacktown, Canada Bay, the Eastern Suburbs North, Kograh – Rockdale, Canterbury, Hawkesbury, Rouse Hill – McGraths Hill, and Blacktown North also have an impressive reported vaccination coverage at 90-100%. 

But the aged care workforce in Liverpool, one of the earlier identified areas of concern in NSW for one of the longest periods during its latest COVID-19 outbreak, is sitting at 60-69% vaccination. 

According to the health department, the new vaccination data, provided via the weekly updated My Aged Care Portal, is compliant with privacy laws concerning the publication of health data.

At the weekend, Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews congratulated the nation on its ‘fantastic achievement’ of 17 million doses administered over Saturday and Sunday. Andrews, along with other Liberal members of parliament were hitting the airwaves to promote fewer state sanctioned lockdowns once 70-80% of the Australian population had been fully vaccinated.

Weekend’s violent ‘freedom’ protests underscore growing community frustrations

Six police officers were hospitalised following violent clashes with so-called ‘freedom’ demonstrators in Melbourne at the weekend. Victoria’s protest drew some of the largest demonstrating crowds of approximately 4,000 defiant citizens, many unmasked, chanting and cheering against what they complain are oppressive public health orders.

Protesters let off flares and climbed onto commercial awnings. When objects began being lobbed at police officers, pepper spray was deployed into the front ranks of the mob.

A spokesperson for Victoria police told the ABC that this was the first time during a lockdown protest that ‘police were forced to use a range of non-lethal options including pepper ball rounds and OC foam cannisters’. Among concussions sustained by police, two officers walked away with broken noses and another with a broken thumb.

“The behaviour seen by police was so hostile and aggressive that they were left with no choice but to use all tactics available to them,” the spokesperson said.

A total of 218 people were arrested and 236 fines were issued in Victoria.

Earlier in the week, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton issued a call for frustrated citizens to avoid the protest.

“It is tagged as a ‘freedom demonstration’. It’s anything but,” he said.

Other smaller protests occurred in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The extreme views being perpetuated by the protestors, which include conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine, come as the rate of the virus spread in the community continues to climb in Victoria and NSW. 

Of the 71 new cases reported in Victoria on Monday, 22 have not been linked and there are 495 active cases of COVID-19 in the state.

NSW recorded a significant jump in positive COVID-19 cases with 830 locally acquired cases recorded, 693 cases currently unliked. In that group of positive cases, 204 were children aged 0-9 years, and 276 were aged 10-19 years.

Another three people have died, bringing the deaths related to this current outbreak in NSW to 71 people. 

The ACT seems to have a better handle on its Delta variant outbreak but also remains in lockdown


Anti-lockdown protestors told NSW Police will ‘deal with you’

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