No jab, no visit: Queensland’s strict new aged care rule

 

People will only be able to enter Queensland aged care facilities after May 3 if they have received an up-to-date flu vaccination.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young's new aged care direction comes amid a visitor ban on nursing homes, disability accommodation, hospitals and prisons until at least April 15, except in end-of-life situations.

The ban was imposed amid concerns about community transmission of the COVID-19 virus after two separate clusters emerged out of the Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D last month.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tara Croser.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Tara Croser.

From May 3, only people who have a medical contraindication to receiving the flu shot and those who are waiting out the recommended two-week period between getting their COVID-19 vaccine and their influenza jab will be exempt from Dr Young's latest aged care ruling.

The direction comes with flu notifications for this time of year way down on historical averages.

Federal Health Department influenza data shows Queensland has had just 80 flu notifications this year.

That compares to Queensland's five-year average of 4372 flu cases at the same stage of year, data that includes 2020, when influenza infections took a dive during the pandemic.

In 2019, more than 260 Queenslanders died after contracting the flu.

The Federal Government is still administering COVID-19 vaccines to aged care residents in Queensland and nursing home staff as part of Australia's high priority Phase 1A rollout.

 

Originally published as No jab, no visit: Queensland's strict new aged care rule

 


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