Having the influenza vaccination will be a new requirement for visiting all aged care facilities in Australia from 1 May 2020

As per the directive all suppliers, contractors, subcontractors, health practitioners, volunteers and other stakeholders seeking entry to aged care facilities must be vaccinated for influenza. This will be effective from 1 May 2020.

This leaves a true dilemma for the managers of any Pets As Therapy program or any volunteer program. Knowing that a percentage of people receiving a vaccination can have serious and permanent health side effects, do managers have the right to ask volunteers to get vaccinated? Is it against human rights to insist on it?

For those who usually receive a flu vaccination then there’s no issue. But there are a number of people who are against some, or all vaccinations.

To vaccinate or not, is an ongoing heated topic with worthy facts and statistics on both sides of the argument.

I personally acquired severe “toxic shock” from a vaccination 24 years ago. It had me bed-bound for 2-3 years and has caused a permanent health deficit. Therefore, I won’t be getting the fluvax and neither will I be asking any of our volunteers to get it.

Our volunteers that usually have the flu vaccination will be assigned to aged care facilities whilst the others will be assigned to locations not requiring that control.

This is going to be a true dilemma for managers of volunteers visiting aged care, and something that needs to be addressed with the volunteers.