Member for Calare Andrew Gee says a request from Gladys Berejiklian's NSW Government to have additional Pfizer vaccines shifted from the bush to the growing list of hot spots in south-west Sydney has been denied.
Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday confirmed the state government would redirect its own allocation of Pfizer doses from regional NSW to vaccinate Year 12 students in the worst-affected Sydney LGAs.
"We don't want students coming to face-to-face learning, getting the virus, and taking it home with them," she said.
On top of those NSW-owned doses, Mr Gee said the Berejiklian Government requested to have more Pfizer vaccines from the Federal Government's supply chest redirected to Sydney too.
There was 170 new cases of community transmission recorded in NSW on Friday, just 24 hours after the state hit a peak of 239 new cases on Thursday.
Mr Gee, however, believes now is not the time to be redirecting doses for Pfizer vaccine, with the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney Local Government Areas fresh out of a lockdown following a COVID-19 scare two weeks ago.
We're still coming out of lockdown and the situation is still vulnerable.Member for Calare Andrew Gee
"The Federal government was asked to redirect vaccines form its GP and pharmacy doses to go into Sydney but we have declined to do that," Mr Gee confirmed.
"We believe the vaccine roll-out needs to continue to go right around Australia, including regional areas.
"In terms of redirecting from this area, no, it's the wrong time to be doing that. We're still coming out of lockdown and the situation is still vulnerable."
Member for Orange Phil Donato slammed the decision from the state government to shift Pfizer vaccines from the state's "poor cousins" in regional NSW to the city.
"Our limited Pfizer supplies are still needed out here where many people await their first dose, just as they need them in Sydney," he said in a letter to the editor.
"The Premier and her Deputy (John Barilaro) need to work on accessing additional vaccines for the entire state, and not pilfer existing regional vaccine supplies for the city.
"It's decisions such as these that expose the view of this Government that country people matter less than people of the city."
Mr Gee urged residents of regional NSW to consider the AstraZeneca vaccine too.
"I got my second shot on Monday, it was so easy to make an appointment," he added.
It's decisions such as these that expose the view of this Government that country people matter less than people of the city.Phil Donato, Member for Orange
"I think there has been some confusion about the AstraZeneca vaccine - it has been declared safe by the relevant health authorities."
Gee said there's risk associated with everything but said the "cold hard truth of it" is AstraZeneca is safe to use.
"We've got to keep it in perspective," he said.
"If these vaccines can save your life, you should take them. If there's underlying medical conditions or you're worried, see your GP."
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