Why do we need a COVID vaccine in Australia

COVID vaccination

Why do we need to get a Covid Vaccine in Australia

Have you had your vaccine? Are you concerned? The focus seems to have moved from keeping the population safe, to what harm will it cause me!



The History of Vaccinations

Smallpox, Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis and Polio have all been successfully eradicated or significantly contained through mass vaccination. But today, we see too many people who were either not born in the 1800’s when this commenced or have not experienced its trauma. I know you are not over 200 years old, but my point is your health has been protected by a Vaccine given more than 200 years ago. What we achieve today, tomorrow they will forget. But if we do not Vaccinate today, there may not be a tomorrow to remember.

So, how does this relate to Nursing, and more specifically aged care! Please just turn on the television, or Facebook and see the daily changes in active COVID for Aged Care across Australia. There are past and current cases. Even cases of Nurses in more recent times testing positive for COVID.

What has Education go to do with COVID

If you are an Aged Care Provider, you need to be reading this. Your business success depends on the competency and understanding of Clinical Governance, and Aged Care Standards, alongside how your staff implement them.

Why more education you ask! All education is not the same. It is very likely that most if not all of your registered nurses have a University Degree. However, what sort of Clinical Governance education have they received since they finished their nursing degree? Yes, experience is the greatest teacher, but you as the business owner do not have another 20 years to wait for the nurses to gain that experience. The right education and training, can increase staff competence, and improve the business bottom line.

Specialist Training

There are a plethora of online education providers in aged care, healthcare and nursing. COVID has increased this. Whilst this is good, what I want you to ask is how good! How good is it for your staff to have online education, often in their own time, not directly related to what they are doing, not directly related to your workplace, or not directly related to the population they are providing care for. The answer is, as you already know, face to face education.

Training should not be “old hat” in that staff just have to put up with the negative work environment. Nor should the training be all “online” as there is no interaction with the trainer, the workplace or the teachings. The time has come for a face to face trainer, experienced in Clinical Governance, and Aged Care Standards, to present this specialised training.

How much you ask?

Everything depends on your client population, your location, and your needs. A small 40 bed regional stand-alone home has very different education needs to a large city multi-level-site facility, and some sites are co-located with hospitals. A needs assessment can be undertaken and a plan developed to meet your specific needs.


Why handwashing!  In the midst of this world-wide pandemic the fastest and most effective way to prevent infection is to wash your hands. There is a course anyone can do National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) help desk to show they understand the importance of handwashing and how to do it safety and correctly. This does not detract from social-distancing or vaccination; but it does help.



Covid-19 and what we know


It’s a weird feeling, that your job could take your life.

As an experienced nurse of more than 30 years, working across aged care, community care, and critical care; it is my observation the current health crises will affect everyone in some way.


 With the world in lockdown, are we able to stop the spread of coronavirus?

How long can we stay in lockdown? And will our economy recover? These are the central questions across the world right now. Each nation has enacted some level of lockdown, and yet we are hearing little about any plans to come out of such lockdowns.


So, what are we, each individually, able to do to stay safe and stay well in the midst of this pandemic? There are two age old truths, that are as meaningful now as they have ever been. Your overall physical health plays a part; and handwashing is the gold standard for protection.


The first studies, from data in January 2020 within China, show medical decline associated with Covid-19 largely involves co-morbidities. What this means for all of us is that the old adage “stay fit” actually has a purpose now. There is enough evidence to demonstrate those who are fitter, with less health issues, suffer less during pandemics. Covid-19 is no different.


Masks, I hear you say. Give me a mask!

The situation is varied, depending on where you live; however, the advice from the World Health Organisation remains the same – you only need a mask if you are looking after someone with covid-19. Let’s look at this hypothesis. The basis of mask wearing falls apart when we look at symptoms of covid-19. All research agrees that many people present with little or no symptoms and yet can transmit covid-19 to others. Therefore, we have a situation where the incorrect use of masks actually puts the wearer at higher risk of infection. And health care workers are facing a very real shortage of masks, working directly with covid-19 patients. Are home made masks any value. The jury is still out on that one, and the choice has to be a personal one; remembering that incorrectly applied and used masks cause more harm than good.


With all this noise about masks, we have forgotten the most reliable indicator of reducing transmission of infection – handwashing.

Sounds terribly boring, but it is absolutely true. Since Dr Semmelweis made the discovery in 1847 that handwashing saves lives, we have paid little attention to this great fact. Remember being told as a child “wash your hands”. Such reminders are based on historic evidence that handwashing reduces the spread of infection. This analogy is no different with adults and is even more important during times of pandemic. Yes Covid-19 is transmitted through coughing, however social distancing promoted by the World Health Organisation is key to reducing the spread of Covid-19. So why handwashing again? Without handwashing, all the social distancing and masks available will be of no use. Handwashing remains at the heart of reducing the spread of Covid-19. The World Health Organisation has PDF templates, videos and written instructions on how to handwash safely, with soap and water, using a 20-30 second technique that can be easily learned.


As you read this article, remember to stay safe and stay well. What that actually means is as explained above. Stay as fit and healthy as you possibly can; and practice good handwashing.