MEDIA RELEASE - How much have tax payers paid for failed intercity fleet?

Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison has called on the NSW Government to urgently secure and allocate additional Pfizer vaccinations to deliver and ramp up the delivery of vaccinations to members of the Maitland Community. Particularly people who have been told they are required to have the vaccine in order to remain employed, such as School and Early Childhood Education staff who are required to have their first does by 8 November.

“Following the Premier’s announcements of additional activities for fully vaccinated adults this month, and some public servants such as health care and education workers being told they must get vaccinated in order to stay employed, now more than ever Maitland needs the additional vaccination doses. It’s not about a choice of vaccine, it’s about having access to a vaccine that they have been advised by a Health Professional they need”, Ms Aitchison said.

“The Hunter has been on a rollercoaster ride with the COVID Vaccine roll-out, first vaccine supplies were redirected away from the area, then our only disability specific vaccination Hub was closed and now people are at risk of missing out on fully vaccinated ‘freedoms’ and their employment being put on hold or terminated if they are not vaccinated before the various cut off dates encouraged by the NSW Government.

“My office is contacted by Maitland residents and workers who want to get vaccinated every day frustrated at the lack of availability to get a vaccine appointment for the Pfizer in our area. People are having to book appointments as far out as December - well beyond the mandatory vaccination dates for our health and education workers.

“People have written to me saying their hours have been cut at the Belmont Hub due to not having enough vaccinations to put in peoples arms. The Hub’s capacity for vaccination is 2,500 per day, why is it not being supplied with enough vaccine to do so?

“People of all ages are wanting to do their bit to keep their families and the community safe from COVID infection and spread. But there just aren’t enough vaccine doses available.

“The addition of a number of local pharmacies and Doctor Surgeries delivering vaccines through walk-in and by appointment in Maitland has seen people rolling up their sleeves for the jab in droves across my electorate. But many of these locations are only able to offer AstraZeneca at present. Putting people who need the Pfizer Vaccine at a great disadvantage if the NSW Government plans to start introducing ‘freedoms’ from this month and making vaccines mandatory in order to stay employed.

Last month the NSW Government announced that from Monday, 13 September 2021, people living outside the local government areas of concerns, outdoor gatherings of up to five people will be allowed in a person’s LGA or within 5km of their home. However, all adults must have received both doses of a COVID vaccine.

As of 5 September the percentage of fully vaccinated persons in the Maitland LGA is just 29.1%.

“There’s no point in the Premier promising benefits for getting vaccinated when she doesn’t deliver the access to vaccines she promised. It’s time to deliver every single vaccine dose she committed to delivering to Maitland now”, Ms Aitchison said.