Disabled australians once again excluded in COVID-19 response

The Australian Greens MPs

Wednesday 21 April 2021

The Australian Greens have called on the Morrison Government to urgently prioritise disabled people, and disability support workers, in the national vaccine roll out after it was revealed that just 6.5% of this cohort have received their first dose.

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said:

“This is absolutely shameful. It’s clear that the Morrison government has once again forgotten to include disabled people, and the people who support us, in their pandemic response.

“Last year, the disability Royal Commission heard that the Morrison government hadn’t included disabled people in their emergency response plan for COVID-19.

“Now, we learn that a decision has been made to exclude disabled people, and our support workers, from receiving priority vaccinations despite placing us in phase 1a of the vaccine rollout!

“It is abundantly clear that the Morrison government do not care about the safety of disabled people; they treated us like second class citizens throughout their response to the pandemic and they’re doing it again in their bungled vaccine rollout.

Australian Greens Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“This Government has failed disabled people and their families and is once again denying them basic care and consideration.

“Less than 100 of the more than 6,000 disability institutions across Australia, a home and a workplace to more than 25,000 disabled people and their support workers, have obtained shipments of either vaccine amounting to less than 1,500 individuals receiving their first dose.

“Disabled people and carers were denied the COVID supplement back in March 2020 when many people’s costs were significantly increased due to quarantine, lock down and COVID restrictions and now they are being failed in the vaccine rollout.

“The Government needs to make it an urgent priority to vaccinate disabled people and support workers now.”

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