Thursday, 28 January 2021
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has sought urgent clarification from the Commonwealth Government about how the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to people in the region in the coming months.
Mr Marshall has written to the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and said he did not want to see rural people disadvantaged with limited or delayed access to the free Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
“Most of people are understandably very excited about being able to soon access a free vaccine for COVID-19 but also are concerned they will have to wait or have to drive vast distances to access it,” Mr Marshall said.
“People in our region and across country NSW should not be disadvantaged nor have to wait any longer than their city counterparts to be vaccinated.
“The Commonwealth has already announced that people at risk, especially older Australian’s will receive priority for vaccinations, but these people are often the ones who struggle to travel vast distances if the vaccine is not delivered locally.
“Geography and distance should not and cannot become a barrier to anyone, especially vulnerable and older people, accessing this vaccine.
“It’s the uncertainly about how the vaccine will be delivered that is worrying people right now and I’d like to see this clarified by the Commonwealth as quickly as possible.”
Mr Marshall has sought information about the rollout from Minister Hunt and suggested a delivery model for the region.
“As a minimum, I think the vaccine should be available at every public health facility in the region,” he said.
“People know their local hospital or MPS and the staff that work there and have utilised these facilities throughout the pandemic to be tested for COVID-19.
“It would make sense to also administer the vaccine at these facilities, at the least, which are relatively close to most people living in our region and country NSW.
“Any information I receive from Minister Hunt, I will be sure to pass onto the community so people can be prepared for the vaccine rollout.”