Coming Up Fri 8:00 AM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
Live
Italian radio

Arcare Maidstone aged care resident not vaccinated despite family giving consent

Arcare Aged Care facility in Maidstone, Melbourne, May 31, 2021. Source: AAP

An aged care resident at the centre of a new coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne was not vaccinated despite the family's consent. Meanwhile, the number of people testing positive at the home has risen.

Melbourne's Arcare Maidstone aged care facility has apologised for the delay in administering the COVID-19 vaccine to an elderly resident despite her having given consent to the vaccine. 

It comes after a relative told SBS Italian that her grandmother was not vaccinated despite the fact that her consent form had been signed for some time.

A second employee at the aged care home as well as a resident have tested positive for the coronavirus - a day after an employee at the same facility tested positive on Sunday.   

Of the 76 residents at Arcare, only 53 received the first dose of Pfizer vaccine on 12 May.

In a press release earlier, Arcare stated that those who had not received the dose had not given their consent, or had not had consent given by their relatives.

Health Minister Greg Hunt also echoed the statement at a press conference on Sunday.

A resident at the Arcare Aged Care facility Melbourne, Monday, May 31, 2021.
A resident at the Arcare Aged Care facility Melbourne, Monday, May 31, 2021.

“We are encouraging all the residents and families of those who have not provided consent to reconsider,” Mr Hunt told reporters.

Consent given but no vaccination

In an exclusive interview with SBS Italian, the woman explained that she only discovered last week that her grandmother had not been vaccinated.

"I gave the consent months ago; one day during a visit the nurse asked me if I wanted to sign, I obviously signed and left the consent [form] directly at the reception," she said.

"Then in early May, when they communicated that the vaccination would have taken place on May 12, I sent an email asking if I too could be vaccinated, and in this email I also asked if they had received consent for the vaccine [for the grandmother] and they replied, 'yes thank you, we have it here'".

Staff members of the Royal Freemasons Coppin Centre receive COVID tests in the carpark, in Melbourne, Monday, May 31, 2021.  (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING
Staff members of the Royal Freemasons Coppin Centre receive COVID tests in the carpark, in Melbourne, Monday, May 31, 2021.
AAP

SBS Italian has seen the email exchange, which occurred on May 6.

However last week, the elderly lady's relative was shocked to learn that, despite the formally stated consent, her grandmother had not been vaccinated on May 12.

"Earlier last week I contacted the email again (sic) saying, 'My grandmother has already received the first vaccine anyway, when will she get the second dose, how is that going?',

And they replied, 'Ah no, your grandmother has not been vaccinated because I think I have not received your consent.'"

People line up to be vaccinated at a mass coronavirus vaccination hub at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Friday, May 28, 2021.
People line up to be vaccinated at a mass coronavirus vaccination hub at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Friday, May 28, 2021.
AAP


The elderly lady's relative has many questions about what happened. She told SBS Italian she is usually contacted by Arcare with any questions or concerns about medical consents. In this case, she says no one consulted her with any questions about the missing consent for the coronavirus vaccine.

"How did you not find my consent form? I sent it to you a long time ago and there is the email of May 6th saying you have the document with you. Couldn't you have called me?", the woman said during the interview. She says she is yet to receive any satisfactory answers from the managers of the aged care facility.

Arcare says "53 of the 76 residents at Maidstone consented to receive the vaccine and have received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose was due to be administered on Tuesday but has been brought forward to today, Monday 31 May.

"All Arcare Maidstone team members are also being offered their first or second dose tomorrow."

In a statement to SBS Italian, Colin Singh, CEO of Arcare said he confirmed that the elderly resident in question "has today received her first dose of the vaccine".