Vaccine hub push

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Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell has said Mount Gambier should be a high priority for the state’s next vaccination hub.

The Independent MP this week raised the issue in Parliament, requesting the government give a firm timeline for the establishment of a hub in Mount Gambier.

The State Government announced a vaccination hub would be opened at the Adelaide Showgrounds and further hubs for Elizabeth and Noarlunga by early June. However, Mr Bell said there was no mention of Mount Gambier.

“Whilst I understand the government’s intent to service metropolitan Adelaide and surrounds, there are 60,000 people in the Limestone Coast who are also awaiting their vaccinations,” he said.

“My office is getting inundated with calls from residents saying they cannot book a time at their local medical clinics and some indicating they can receive the vaccination if they travel to Adelaide.

“Clinics are given 50 doses per week and at that rate have indicated to me they will be vaccinating until 2023. “The regions cannot be forgotten. “Mount Gambier needs to be a high priority.”

Mr Bell said residents over 50 in the Limestone Coast should not have to travel to Adelaide for their vaccination. “SA’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier, is on record as saying the hubs are an important step in the state’s vaccine rollout strategy,” he said. “Surely the state’s second largest city should be an active participant in that strategy.”

Mount Gambier’s wait for a vaccination hub comes as the latest data shows that South Australia has delivered more vaccinations per capita than any other mainland state – 9.8 doses per 100 persons – with only Tasmania and the ACT ranked higher.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said a vaccination team had been sent to Kangaroo Island to provide the vaccine at the Kangaroo Island Health Service this week. “More mass vaccination clinics will open at Elizabeth and Noarlunga in the near future, while plans are also underway to establish a community clinic at Mount Gambier,” he said.

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