Covid boosters urgently needed in the Bay

16 December 2021

The Morrison Government must “ring vaccinate” the Hunter with early booster shots so our older population can be protected from Covid-19 before the influx of Christmas holiday tourists.
I’m calling on Minister Hunt to send supplies urgently, given that the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire in Newcastle.
I’m also calling on him to reduce the wait for boosters from five months to three months in our region, so we can be fully protected.
The wait time has been reduced in the UK, and I think that 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.
I’m hearing from people in Port Stephens that they can’t get a booster till January, even though they are eligible now.
I 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.
Now the Government has reduced the wait from six months to five months, and we have this new outbreak, and there is a sense of urgency.
People are worried and want boosters, but the clinics don’t have the vaccines to give them.
Another doctor told me they had ordered an emergency supply, which they hoped would arrive next week, and they encouraged people to keep trying to make bookings.
the hordes of tourists making their way to the Bay, and more expected after Christmas, people are rightly concerned about the potential spread of Omicron.
This is doubly important because today is the day restrictions are lifted for unvaccinated people, and that means the virus could really take hold.
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.