BATHURST residents are among those missing out on their planned Pfizer vaccination following the NSW Government decision last week to redirect doses to Year 12 students in the Sydney suburbs most affected by COVID-19 lockdowns.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced last Wednesday that around 40,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be sent to Sydney as part of a plan to get Year 12 students back to face-to-face classes by August 16.
It was later explained that residents in regional NSW who had received their first dose of Pfizer would receive their second dose as planned, but those who had not yet received their first dose could face having their booking abandoned.
Anyone who had their booking scrapped would be offered the AstraZeneca vaccination instead.
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Disappointed people across regional NSW, including here in Bathurst, have taken to social media in recent days to express their frustration at having their Pfizer booking abandoned after being contacted by text by NSW Health.
Some online posts from Bathurst residents that have been seen by the Western Advocate say people had booked their vaccination up to eight weeks ago only to be told at the weekend that it had now been voided.
A spokesperson for NSW Health acknowledged the inconvenience for people who had had their bookings abandoned and said more pharmacies were joining the vaccination program to speed up the rollout.
"The NSW Government has asked the Federal Government to facilitate more pharmacies in regional and rural areas delivering the COVID-19 vaccines," the spokesperson said.
"Public health advice, based on the latest information from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), now recommends that all individuals aged 18 years and over in NSW, including adults under 60 years of age, should consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.
"NSW Health has also authorised pharmacists to offer AstraZeneca vaccination to anyone aged 18 years or over without precautions or contraindications who has had the opportunity for a discussion in relation to the risks and benefits of vaccination, and has provided fully informed consent."
The spokesperson said the decision to redirect Pfizer doses to Sydney would not affect people who had booked to receive the vaccine through their GP.
"GPs continue to supply Pfizer vaccinations in regional NSW and their supplies from the Federal Government are unaffected by this reallocation," the spokesperson said.
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