In reference to your issue on Thursday, 27 March: I was pleased to see the thumbs down in this latest issue about the local availability of COVID-19 vaccinations. The full-page advertisement by Australian Government, Canberra and the letter from the Western District Health Service.
First some background, I am as far as the vaccination is concerned, in the 1b category (over 70 and with health issues) not an unusual occurrence in our town.
Following the first tranche of COVID-19 vaccinations at the local health clinic, I put my name down on their list. I had already tried to book into the Cowra clinic and they were not taking bookings— no supplies available.
I received two weeks ago, a call from the clinic advising me that they were no longer providing the service. When I asked why, I was told that they did not have the infrastructure and on further questioning, was told that it was the refrigeration requirements.
I challenged that and suggested that the AstraZeneca vaccine needed exactly the same refrigeration requirements as the flu jab and indeed was made by the same technology. The young lady cross-checked and discovered that this old bloke was correct. Further, I suggested that the Pfizer vaccine no longer needed to be kept at -60 degrees as well.
I forthwith messaged (from their website) the office of the politician who works for us in this area and who represents the government and party, Mr Andrew Gee. His office called back to tell me that there had been some supply problems, but that there was a meeting the following day between our medical practitioners and state health. I waited. They called yesterday and advised that there would be supplies to both doctors in town in two weeks. So today I went down to my GP to book in. I was told this was partly correct, but that they could not take a waiting list and that so far, they do not have approval.
Meanwhile, there is still no list being taken by Cowra Respiratory Clinic. They cannot get supplies either. I emailed my local state MP, Mr Philip Donato and so far have received no response.
While all this is taking place, the Federal Health Service has the sheer gall to advise that they are offering (via their no doubt welcome for the Phoenix) full page advertisement telling your readers that the jab is available to under 40s.
This is nonsense—no, it is an outright lie and frankly I am tired of being treated as a second class citizen and a rube. I am neither. I just want one, well two actually, of the one million vaccines that are claimed to be rolling out of the CSL facilities each week. A modicum of honesty would not go astray as well.