Meryl Swanson calls on NSW Government to ‘ring vaccinate’ the Hunter

 

MERYL Swanson is calling on Minister Greg Hunt to urgently send supplies to some of Australia’s oldest residents.

With the new Omicron variant spreading, and a shocking wave of cases in Newcastle, Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson is urging Minister Hunt to take action by sending supplies of vaccine boosters to the Hunter.

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“The Morrison Government must ‘ring vaccinate’ the Hunter with earlier booster shot dates so that the older population can be protected from COVID-19 before the influx of Christmas holiday tourists to the area,” Ms Swanson told News Of The Area.

Ms Swanson is also calling for a reduction in wait time for boosters from five months to three months in the region to ensure protection.

“The wait time has been reduced in the UK, and I think that it is needed for a holiday destination such as Nelson Bay which has an older population.

“It is now clear that even with two vaccines people are not fully protected and our health services could be overwhelmed,” she said.

Although many Port Stephens locals are eligible for the booster, Meryl says that wait times and overload of health services has meant that many are left without access to the booster.

“This week I’ve had people tell me yesterday that not one medical surgery or pharmacy in the Tomaree Peninsula had any vaccines, and the earliest date they can offer for boosters is January.

“A practice manager told me that last month they were throwing away vaccines because people were not coming forward to get boosters – there was no sense of urgency,” Meryl said.

The NSW Government has now reduced the wait for boosters from six months to five months.

“We have this new outbreak, and now there is a sense of urgency; people are worried and want boosters, but the clinics don’t have the vaccines to give them,” Ms Swanson said.

Local doctors in the area have been ordering emergency supplies, which they hope to arrive within the next week, and still encourage residents to keep trying to make bookings.

“I am urging the Morrison Government to act to protect our community.

“The Government has sent people two letters urging them to get booster shots but has not made the boosters available.

“It must do so immediately,” Meryl said.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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