ACT health authorities will this week be encouraging Canberra's aged care workers to go and get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they haven't already been.
The conversations will come in the wake of four active Covid cases being linked to Melbourne aged care facilities as Victoria endures a seven-day circuit-breaker lockdown. Two of those active cases are staff members.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said on Monday the rollout into aged care was a Commonwealth responsibility, but the territory had supported the effort.
"We will be continuing to work with our residential aged care facilities to get the word out to their staff about the importance of getting vaccinated and to provide opportunities for people to do that," she said.
Federal health authorities are currently reviewing whether or not Covid vaccines should be mandatory for aged care workers.
As at last Wednesday, federal government contractor Aspen Medical had doled out second doses of the Covid vaccine to 25 of the ACT's 26 residential aged care facilities. The one remaining facility had received first doses of the vaccine.
A federal Department of Health spokesman explained some staff at the facilities would have also been offered a vaccine when Aspen Medical visited if excess doses were available.
"Throughout the aged care rollout, workers can receive a COVID-19 vaccination at residential aged care facilities where excess doses are available following vaccination of residents," the spokesman said.
"The delivery of vaccinations in residential aged care and disability facilities has prioritised the delivery of vaccines to residents, as they are the most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19."
An Aspen Medical spokesman confirmed a "significant number" of aged care staff had "availed of the opportunity to receive the vaccine in the ACT".
If Canberra aged care staff didn't get vaccinated as part of the in-reach program, they could also visit their general practice to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, a Canberra respiratory clinic, or the vaccine hub at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce if they were over 50.
If they were under 50, they could get a Pfizer vaccine at the Garran Surge Centre.
Canberra Aged Care Facility director Clayton Hutchinson said that, during his facility's first Covid vaccination session with Aspen Medical, they ended up with 35 excess doses that were given to staff.
About 97 per cent of his residents had been fully vaccinated against Covid.
Mr Hutchinson estimated 60 per cent of his about 120 staff had since been vaccinated against COVID-19 by various means, whether that was at the Garran Surge Centre or at their general practice, for instance.
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