Media Release

The race is on to protect our most vulnerable, not just the elderly

UnitingCare Australia is calling on the Morrison Government to prioritise all vulnerable people in the accelerated vaccine rollout.
“We welcome the announcement today that pharmacists will join the fight to vaccinate Australians. UnitingCare Australia has been calling on the Government to accelerate their involvement and highlighted the valuable contribution pharmacists can make”, said National Director, Ms Claerwen Little.
“But we hold grave concerns for vulnerable people who are not yet eligible for a vaccine. This includes people experiencing homelessness, those with complex health issues, from CALD backgrounds, or individuals living in rural and remote areas.
”People in vulnerable circumstances require additional support and specific strategies to access vaccines, and we have the opportunity to put measures in place now.
“We urge the Government to revise eligibility requirements to include vulnerable people and the workers that support them. We must align their eligibility status with that of healthcare and high-risk workers.
“And we urge the Government to consider the role that pharmacists can play specifically to vaccinate vulnerable people. Often pharmacists are well known and importantly they are easily accessible in local communities and have existing relationships with community service providers. There is an obvious opportunity to establish a national partnership.
“We must ensure there is no wrong door to a vaccination and the messaging is positive, simple and clear. As one of the largest networks of community services, our doors are open.
“UnitingCare Australia will continue to work with the Morrison Government and provide insights we have learned working in the community with vulnerable people as we race to protect every single person against COVID-19.”

About UnitingCare Australia
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s community services network and an agency of the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia. We give voice to the Uniting Church’s commitment to social justice through advocacy and by strengthening community service provision. We are one of the largest networks of social service providers in Australia supporting 1.4 million people every year across urban, rural and remote communities, supported by 50,000 staff and 30,000 volunteers.