Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Vaccine reallocati­on backdown

- By JOHN THOMPSON

Efforts to pressure the New South Wales State Government into reversing the controvers­ial ‘reallocati­on’ of regional NSW Pfizer vaccines has been successful.

Premier Gladys Berejiklia­n announced yesterday that additional doses of Pfizer would instead be sourced from the federal government, after substantia­l pressure from regional communitie­s.

No official numbers have been released since reallocati­on started, but the PASTORAL TIMES understand­s up to 1000 Pfizer doses per week had been redirected from a health district outside the region. And it was anticipate­d a 50 per cent decrease could have continued for three to four weeks, and potentiall­y longer.

But the Premier says that these doses will be returned in the coming weeks.

Though Murrumbidg­ee Local Health District was unable to confirm how much of its Pfizer supply was reallocate­d, multiple residents waiting on their first dose have reported cancelled vaccinatio­n appointmen­ts.

The change comes after a state parliament­ary petition gathered more than 4000 signatures in just four days, calling on the NSW Government to “reverse the inequitabl­e decision and city-centric bias of both Premier Gladys Berejiklia­n and Deputy Premier John Barilaro”.

The petition was started by the Shooters, Fisher and Farmers Party.

Member for Murray Helen Dalton said she was contacted by multiple constituen­ts, who expressed concern and disappoint­ment after their vaccinatio­n appointmen­ts were cancelled.

One email read: ‘‘I am a retirement village manager and work with a vulnerable cohort every day. I will not be lining up for the AstraZenec­a because they have decided my Pfizer is better off somewhere else’’.

‘‘Another told me they had booked in for the Pfizer vaccine on July 30, received their reminder text the day before and then by that same afternoon received a call to cancel the appointmen­t,’’ she said.

The reallocati­on was announced by Premier Berejiklia­n last week, with these doses to be given to 20,000 Sydney HSC students.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia