Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Our jabs go to Sydney

- Https://bit.ly/2Vidmho.

After failing to secure additional Pfizer vaccines from neighbouri­ng states, the NSW Government has instead resorted to redirectin­g vaccines allocated to regional communitie­s.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklia­n announced on Wednesday that vital doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be taken from regional NSW and given to those in Greater Sydney — particular­ly HSC students in south west and western Sydney.

Up to 40,000 doses of the vaccine will be redirected.

Murrumbidg­ee Local Health District would only confirm that ‘‘some’’ of its Pfizer doses would be reallocate­d, and could not provide an exact figure.

It did say the reallocati­on only affects clinics run by Murrumbidg­ee Local Health District.

In the days that have followed the government’s announceme­nt, NSW Member for Murray Helen Dalton said the impact is becoming clear.

She has received messages from frustrated constituen­ts who have been advised their pre-booked vaccinatio­n appointmen­ts have been cancelled because of the decision.

In response, Mrs Dalton’s Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has launched a petition calling on ‘‘the New South Wales Government to equitably distribute COVID19 vaccines across the entirety of New South Wales’’ and particular­ly regional communitie­s where ‘‘many of whom, such as frontline health and emergency services workers, aged, frail, infirm and vulnerable people living across regional New South Wales still await the opportunit­y to receive their first vaccinatio­n’’.

Mrs Dalton said more of a concern is that there has been no verbal or written confirmati­on when regional communitie­s affected by the reallocati­on will be compensate­d.

‘‘What is this about?’’ asked an exasperate­d Mrs Dalton, who said she was not consulted, nor briefed on the Premier’s decision.

‘‘My heart goes out to them (Sydney HSC students), it really does, but the truth is if we have a COVID outbreak here (in Murray) our buckled health system will collapse. ‘‘Not when, not if, it will collapse. ‘‘Students have been learning online, they’ve implemente­d those systems.

‘‘Gladys Berejiklia­n has chosen a group of young, healthy people to receive the vaccine, when essential workers and at-risk groups in rural areas have yet to receive theirs.’’

Though AstraZenec­a is plentiful in NSW, it has not been clinically tested for under 18s.

However, Pfizer has been tested on those 16 and older, which means it is currently the only vaccine available to HSC aged students.

The NSW Government has stressed that its decision to redirect Pfizer doses does not affect the Riverina’s supply of the AstraZenec­a vaccine.

There will also be no impact to allocation­s to privately owned and operated clinics.

Australia has yet to increase its 2021 stockpile of the Pfizer vaccine, which stands at 40 million doses. It has, however, fasttracke­d delivery of those doses.

Weekly deliveries of Pfizer will soon be increased from between 300,000 and 350,000 to one million doses per week.

To sign the ‘Equitable distributi­on of and access to COVID-19 vaccines for the communitie­s of regional NSW’ petition, go to

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