Albany Creek Woman With Dementia Struggles to Find Vaccination

An elderly woman resident of Aveo Freedom Care Albany Creek, who is suffering from severe dementia, was forced to arrange her own COVID-19 vaccination, much to the dismay of her family.

The woman, who will remain anonymous, lives in her own apartment but requires a lot of support from the care community watching over her. Her dementia has progressed to the point where she cannot even recognise her own family. 

However, Aveo’s call for its residents to get vaccinated despite their own lack of a supply means she and many other elderly people will have to venture outside to receive their vaccinations. This will cause great fear in residents with dementia as they will be taken out of comfortable and familiar spaces. 

Though four of Aveo’s Commonwealth-funded facilities fall under Phase 1A of the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout recommendations, their Freedom Care Communities such as the one in Albany Creek fall under Phase 1B which means they are not currently eligible to receive vaccines. 

It will allegedly take the anonymous woman six weeks to go through the necessary steps required to arrange a clinic appointment for vaccination, according to her family. Her regular clinic does not administer vaccines. Given the current state of the woman’s dementia, it would be difficult to change her environment and she would be unable to do so alone.

Albany Creek in First Vaccine Rollout for Queensland

Albany Creek has been included among the first 41 locations in Queensland that will carry out Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine program commencing on the week of 21 February 2021. 

Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt announced the start of the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with priority for aged and disability care residents, as well as the facility workers. 

There are over 240 aged and disability care facilities across the country and the Federal Government expects to vaccinate all residents and care workers in the next six weeks.

Mr Hunt confirmed that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines have arrived following approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Supplies of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines, on the other hand, are expected to be in Australia by March.

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“These are two outstanding vaccines that will be available to people in Australia free of charge,” Mr Hunt said. 

“The vaccination program will save and protect lives. Both of our vaccines will prevent serious illness. That is our primary goal.” 

Along with the initial rollout, Queensland will activate three vaccine hubs at the Gold Coast University Hospital, Cairns Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Woolloongabba.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that 100 vaccines will be given to Gold Coast by Monday, 22 Feb 2021, whilst Princess Alexandra Hospital will receive the vaccines on Wednesday and Cairns will get the vials on Friday. 

Ms Palaszczuk also said that rollout will start slowly and individuals will be asked to go to their specific centres. As the next supplies arrive, the hubs will be expanded.

Meanwhile, border, quarantine and frontline healthcare workers are also part of the first rollout. Health Department head Brendan Murphy said that the vaccination program is expected to be the “single-biggest, and most complex, vaccination task” with many players involved. 

Check the full list of vaccination locations for the first rollout via the Department of Health