Regional NSW residents having jab appointments cancelled so Sydney students can get vaccinated

A Current Affair, 3 August 2021

Residents in regional NSW are frustrated their coronavirus vaccine appointments are being cancelled so Year 12 students in Sydney can have the jab.

And if Sydney's COVID-19 outbreak leaks, Angela and Craig Murry, 56 and 58, won't be protected.

They're two of 20,000 people who've received a message saying their appointments for a Pfizer jab are on hold.

Ms Murry, who is a health worker, said she was "angry and disappointed".

"Why should we be penalised because we're in Newcastle?" she said.

"I see our premier and our health minister and they're saying vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, my husband and I are doing the right thing, we've booked in."

Mr Murry said he's tried to rebook but there's nothing available, while Ms Murry's job relies on her being vaccinated by September 17.

Late today, Ms Murry had her vaccine appointment reinstated.

She'll be getting her jab next week.

Meanwhile, HSC student Keira, who is scheduled to have her jab on Monday, said she thinks the situation is "terrible".

"They're giving the vaccine to us when it could be going to all of these different people," she told A Current Affair.

Less than a third of aged care staff are fully vaccinated.

Gerard Hayes, NSW Secretary of the Health Services Union, said: "At the moment the Federal Government's put in place that aged care workers have up until the 17th of September or they're out of a job.

"They've given them an ultimatum, now the vaccines potentially aren't there."

Member for Orange, Phil Donato, has started a petition - he wants to put a stop to the region's limited vaccine supply being diverted to Sydney.

"It should be equally fair across all of NSW, we shouldn't be treated like the poor cousin," he said.

"We have nothing against year 12 students doing their HSC, but we have vulnerable people still yet to be vaccinated who are enlisted and enrolled to be vaccinated with Pfizer.

"We're not immune to COVID in Orange, we were shut down only a week or so ago, we've still got traces in the sewage treatment facility at Molong, so we're not immune to COVID here in the bush.

"Don't let us book in, get our hopes up, and then give it to somebody else."

NSW Health said it's in the process of rebooking people who have inadvertently had their jabs cancelled.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wants to see NSW record 6 million jabs by the end of August.