RADIO INTERVIEW – ABC Canberra –with Adam Shirley
Friday, 24 September 2021
SUBJECT: Covid vaccinations in Queanbeyan
ADAM SHIRLEY, PRESENTER: Trying to get a vaccination can be tough in this region, especially if you've made a booking and then that booking for supply reasons or others is cancelled. This happened at the Brindabella Family Practice the other day in Queanbeyan. They say vulnerable patients will have to wait months to get a COVID vaccine after 300 doses, which were due to be administered this Saturday was suddenly cancelled. Now the Member for Eden-Monaro that takes in Queanbeyan is Kristy McBain, and she's with us on breakfast today. Kristy McBain Thank you for your time. What's your understanding of that situation at the Brindabella Family Practice? And how concerned are you about the patients who wanted the vaccine but couldn't get it in your electorate?
KRISTY MCBAIN, MEMBER FOR EDEN-MONARO: Morning, obviously disappointing for Brindabella, who are doing the right thing and getting patients in giving them vaccines as quickly as possible and to be told that there would be extra doses made available to them. They've done all that legwork in booking additional people in and then to be told sorry, they're actually not coming anymore. It's very disappointing, not only for them, but for the wider region who are trying to do the right thing and get vaccinated as quickly as possible because we are part of the cohort that wants to get back to some form of normality seeing our friends and family.
SHIRLEY: Do you know if there's been any arrangements made to resupply, though that 300 shortfall?
MCBAIN: No, not at this stage. Obviously, the GP side is run through the Department of Health and the federal government. At this stage, they have no confirmation that that shortfall will be made up.
SHIRLEY: It is a key element getting vaccinated that is in having both shots for the so called New South Wales vaccine passport. What's your understanding of whether part of the Eden-Monaro might be used as a test region for that vaccine passport that the New South Wales Government has been talking about?
MCBAIN: I’m unsure about whether part of the region will be used as a pilot to opening up more generally, we do have some good, good first dose rates in parts of the electorate. But we also do have a much older demographic than other parts of the state. So that really reflects the percentage in that one dose. For two doses we're sitting around 50%. So, people have done the right thing. There's a lot of younger people that have gone out to get AstraZeneca and obviously there's going to be a lag time now in achieving that double dose percentage because of the wait between the first and second dose.
SHIRLEY: Kristy McBain is our guest she is the Member for Eden-Monaro, the Federal Labor member and former mayor of Bega. Adam Shirley with you on breakfast. Defense personnel are going to be part of the Border Patrol team with AFP police around the ACT/New South Wales border. How comfortable with that arrangement?
MCBAIN: I think region has done an incredible job. When you look at case numbers across the region, they're still relatively low compared to a whole bunch of other areas. We haven't seen widespread community transmission even from the outbreak in Canberra across the region yet.
SHIRLEY: Is appropriate that defense personnel are part of this enforcement?
MCBAIN: I don't know if it's necessary. But obviously at some stage, it may have been requested by the by the ACT government or by the New South Wales Government. I'm unsure. I just don't know whether it's necessary given the relatively low amount of community transmission across our region.
SHIRLEY: Briefly on exposure sites and the lists of the Eden-Monaro region, including today there's been some concern from our listeners about the speed of those updates. Can anything be done about that?
MCBAIN: Well it's incredibly difficult. There's such a small team of contact traces across the southern New South Wales Local Health District, and they are doing their best to get out those transmission sites as soon as possible. It’s been difficult for them. And as soon as the information is available, it's put out. But I think that goes to show that people in the region want to do the right thing and they want to know if there are any community transmission sites as soon as possible.
SHIRLEY: We endeavour to keep them informed here as well. Kristy McBain we'll leave it there for now. Thank you for your time.
MCBAIN: Thank you very much Adam.
SHIRLEY: Federal Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain there.