Seven people in Victorian aged care facility die in vaccine-induced flu outbreak
Seven elderly residents from a nursing home in Victoria’s north-east have died during a flu outbreak, the state’s health authorities say. Authorities admit that they were vaccinated in this facility. So, there was 146 vaccinated for the flu. 123 sick with the flu. Resulted in 7 dead from the flu.
The deaths occurred at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta, which is run by the Anglican Church.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the retirement village had 146 residents and 200 staff, with 123 people affected by flu during an outbreak over the past few weeks.
The seven residents who died were aged between 70 and 94, and had other conditions that made them particularly susceptible.
The department said it had worked with the facility to manage the outbreak and ensure strict infection control measures.
It said the outbreak was now subsiding.
Wangaratta Bishop John Parkes said the outbreak has been an “extraordinary and unusual event” unlike any they had ever experienced before.
“It has been a very difficult time,” he said.
“Of course the tragedy is we’ve lost seven residents who are part of the St John’s family and that is dreadful for them, for their families and for the staff and the organisation.
“But we mourn the loss of any resident and seven [dead] in one influenza epidemic is a tragedy for their families and for us.”
Thirteen people are still sick at the home, which will be in lockdown for at least another week as long as no-one else develops flu.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said as soon as the outbreak is over, the facility will be audited.
“They [the elderly] are vaccinated in aged care facilities largely, including this one, but the vaccine doesn’t work as well in the very elderly so it’s incumbent upon those who are visiting and the staff in those facilities to try and be immunized and to exclude themselves from work if they’re unwell.”