Thursday, 27 May 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Earlier in question time, Prime Minister, you said that Jewish Care would receive its first vaccination of the COVID vaccine tomorrow. My office has spoken to the CEO, who says it can't be tomorrow because they've only recently had their flu vaccine. Prime Minister, don't elderly Australians deserve better than this?
Opposition members interjecting—
That is the advice that is provided to me by the department, that is working with all those facilities, and we have been working over these last few days. As the health minister noted, 582 of the 598 residential aged-care facilities have received their first doses. A further seven facilities will be completed today, and the remaining facilities will be completed—
The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business—
An opposition member interjecting—
Whoever it is behind the Manager of Opposition Business, interjecting, is about to be ejected. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.
On direct relevance: while I respect that the information the Prime Minister is providing is important information, it is not relevant to this, and this question goes exactly to whether the information we've been provided today in question time has been accurate or not.
Prior to the member making the point of order, the point I was seeking to make was that seven facilities of those remaining will be completed today. As for the remaining facility, which refers to the one that the member has raised, our advice is that it is scheduled to be completed tomorrow. I can't speak in every case to the level of engagement that has taken place, but that is our advice. We will make further inquiries after question time today, and we're happy to come back to the member and confirm these arrangements. But, as the member would appreciate, with the large number of facilities that we've been involved with through this program, that is the advice that I have from the Department of Health. We will confirm that advice and be happy to report that back to the member, but I'll ask the Minister for Health and Aged Care if he'd like to add further.
I am happy to be able to provide some additional advice. The Chief Medical Officer of Australia was specifically asked to address the question of any facilities which had had flu vaccination within the period of the two weeks and whether that should be a prevention for a further vaccination. His advice is that it should not be a prevention and that the issue raised by the member is not a barrier, is not a prevention, to a—
Ms Plibersek interjecting—
Not only is that our advice, but the very question raised by the member for Macnamara was one which we had discussed in relation to the practice to allow a gap of two weeks between a flu vaccination and a subsequent vaccination. The Chief Medical Officer's advice today is that that is not a barrier and that it is not a reason for a facility not to be scheduled. Therefore the advice that we have, and the expectation, is that the vaccination process will proceed.
Dr Allen interjecting—
The member for Higgins will leave under standing order 94(a).
The member for Higgins then left the chamber.
Mr Hill interjecting—
And so will the member for Bruce.
The member for Bruce then left the chamber.
The member for Boothby has the call.