Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Freedoms at stake

- By LAURA GREEN

The NSW Government confirmed on Monday that regional areas which do not reach a 70 per cent fully vaccinated threshold by mid-October will lose some freedoms.

The state averaged a 70 per cent first dose rate on Monday, showing promising signs the state will meet the same double dose threshold within four to six weeks.

At the 70 per cent double dose rate estimated for mid to late October, the government will provide more freedoms for local government areas under stricter public health orders.

However, those who have not made the effort to get vaccinated are expected to lose some freedoms which are listed on its ‘Roadmap to Freedom’.

Edward River Council’s double vaccinatio­n rate was only 34.7 per cent yesterday.

In response, council has partnered with the PASTORAL TIMES on a campaign to help drive up vaccinatio­n rates in the local area (see page 10).

NSW Member for Murray Helen Dalton raised concerns on Tuesday the loss of freedom measures were ‘‘punishing, bullying and threatenin­g people’’.

She said many in regional NSW had not had the chance to be fully vaccinated, partially due to delays caused by the 40,000 vaccines which were reallocate­d to Sydney in early August.

‘‘COVID will spread here, but what has the New South Wales Government done to ensure our hospitals will cope?’’ she said.

Mrs Dalton has attempted to contact the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, but she told the PASTORAL TIMES he has been ‘‘too busy’’.

Mr Barilaro told regional journalist­s on Wednesday he would ‘‘change those arrangemen­ts’’ for those waiting a full 12 weeks to receive their second dose if it fell past the date the state reaches a 70 per cent vaccinatio­n rate.

‘‘Anyone who’s made the effort and are booked in for their second shot should not be missing out on freedoms,’’ he said.

Deniliquin Respirator­y Clinic recently shortened its AstraZenec­a double dose waiting period from 12 weeks to between six and eight weeks.

Practice manager Sarah Campbell said ‘‘it is the individual’s choice when they would like to receive their second dose’’.

The Deniliquin Local Health Advisory Committee said the community can feel confident accessing all approved vaccines at clinics and pharmacies in Deniliquin.

An additional vaccine drive at the Respirator­y Clinic is open on Saturdays, and the Deniliquin RSL Club has partnered with local medical clinics to incentivis­e locals to be fully vaccinated.

A $10 voucher will be presented to patients following their second dose at participat­ing clinics.

‘‘There is no reason why anyone who wants a vaccinatio­n cannot get it done in the next two to three weeks, starting this week,’’ LHAC chair Lourene Liebenberg said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia