Almost 30,000 members of the national invalidity insurance scheme en New South Wales have yet to receive a dose of vaccine, new figures reveal, fueling fears that vulnerable residents not be vaccinated when the state reopens.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed on Wednesday that the state had reached 80% of the first doses administered when 47.5% of the adult population was fully immunized.
While the government released national figures on immunization rates among g NDIS participants, it had previously not released state-by-state data.
These data, obtained by Guardian Australia for outbreak states, show vaccination rates among NDIS participants in NSW are abovethe national average for this cohort, but still below the general state population.
According to figures provided by the federal government, 66.1% of NDIS participants 16 years and older had received a dose in NSW, and 41.9% were fully vaccinated.
There were 83,328 NDIS participants over the age of 16 in NSW, with 28,264 not yet received one dose of vaccine.
In other epidemic states, 61.9% of NDIS participants in Victoria received a dose, while 42.5% were compfully vaccinated. This means that 26,906 participants in the Victorian program did not have a single jab, out of a total of 70,664 participants.
In the ACT, 67 , 2% had their first jab, with 51.5% having received two doses.
The national vaccination rate among NDIS participants at the last count was 58.7% for the first dose and 39.9% fully vaccinated.
In New South Wales, the difference in the first dose rates between NDIS participants and the general population - around 14 percentage points - have raised concerns that many NDIS participants will still not be vaccinated when New South Wales reopens.
The government of New South Wales has set a target of 70% double dose to lift the cStay-at-home orders for fully immunized individuals and expects to reach this milestone in the first two weeks of October.
Jim Simpson, the 'Senior Counsel for the Intellectual Property Council Disability in New South Wales, said people with disabilities were supposed to be given priority in as part of the national vaccine rollout.
"We would say it is extremely troubling that the people who are supposed to be in the priority group are falling behind the general population, "he told Guardian Australia.
In England, nearly six in ten people are estimated to have died in the past year had a disability. Another study found that people with learning disabilities in England were eight times more likely to die from Covid than the general population .
Federal health officials have previously said that while many people with disabilities are more vulnerable to the virus than the general population, others are not .
The federal government has also said that Covid cases among NDIS participants are generally low compared to the general population.
People with disabilities living in group homes were included in phase 1a of the deployment, while people with an underlying illness, including some people with disabilities, were in phase 1b.
In June, the government announced that all NDIS participants aged 16 and over were eligible for the v acine.
Serena Ovens, the executive director of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, also said vaccination rates among NDIS participants were" huge regarding ".
Ovens said special attention was needed on people living in nursing homes, boarding houses and other settings where there was isolation and lack of information, as well as people with a 'high level of disability'.
"As a community we cannot remain isolated forever, but if and when we open up, we need to make sure everyone, especially priority groups, including people with disabilities and other health issues that put them at greater risk.sque, had every chance to get the full vaccine, ”she said.
Simpson said people with disabilities have encountered a series of 'obstacles to getting vaccinated depending on their situation.
He was concerned about the NSW pl un to open the state to 70% vaccinated in double dose .
"We would say there should be a much higher rate of people with disabilities than those 70% or 80% of the numbers before there is 'There is an openness to the general community, "he said.
The government was criticized earlier in the rollout for slow immunizations among people living in shared NDIS residential housing, or group homes, but the numbers have since improved.
National data released Tuesday showed that 72.8% of the approximately 26,000 group home residents had received one dose, while 62.5% had received two doses.
Approached to comment on NDIS vaccination rates and NSW's roadmap, the office of NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds pointed out to a press release issued Tuesday.
"We have put in place a number of measures to provide additional support for NDIS participants and their support workers to get vaccinated in a way that is convenient for them "Reynolds said in the statement.
The statement noted that the government had introduced a $ 150 support payment for NDIS providers in order to help participants book and attend a community vaccination site.
Among other measures, he said there was equalImmunization services on hand at residential accommodation sites for people with disabilities, and dedicated vaccination centers for people with disabilities managed with NDIS providers were available in most states.
Guardian Australia has contacted the NSW government to inquire about whether it will consider vaccination rates among people with disabilities when reopening.
Inquiries have been forwarded to NSW Health , who said the department was following the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group (Atagi) vaccination advice for population groups.