The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath is calling on the Andrews Government to bolster its effort to help vulnerable community members access vaccinations in Latrobe Valley.
“The Latrobe Valley is lagging behind other regional areas in terms of vaccination rates and more needs to be done to support efforts to lift it,” said Ms Bath.
“It should not have taken an outbreak and a snap lockdown for the Andrews Government to become proactive in Latrobe Valley.
“Our local community is tired after living under rolling lockdowns and harsh restrictions– it’s imperative for the Andrews Government remove barriers to the vaccine for vulnerable community members.
“The announcement that 5000 extra Moderna vaccines will be channelled into the Latrobe Valley this week, via the Federal Government is a great start – but the community deserve to understand how and where the vaccines are administered.
“At this stage of the pandemic it’s imperative the Andrews Government implement accessible solutions to get jabs into arms in trusted community-based settings.
“A contingency plan to address the social disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our population in Latrobe Valley is very much needed.”
Ms Bath said making Moderna available at local pharmacies is a good start and the Pharmacy Guild should be congratulated for the important role they are playing in protecting our community.
“The is plentiful supply of vaccine in Victoria and the Premier must stop making out there is a supply issue,” said Ms Bath.
“It’s the state government’s responsibility to distribute the vaccine, delivering vaccinations to the vulnerable residents in trusted settings would be a positive and proactive move.
“The Andrews Government must work to overcome any trust issues and/or language barriers.
“A targeted local vaccine blitz would go a long way to protecting vulnerable community members and at the same time raise Latrobe Valley’s vaccination rates to the benefit of everyone.
“It’s possible to establish pop up targeted vaccine hubs in consultation within local support agencies or have a travelling service that targets neighbourhoods within the community.”
Ms Bath said she would also like to see the opening hours of Latrobe Valley’s State Vaccination Hub in Traralgon permanently increased during October and November so the community has every chance to meets its double dose targets.
“It makes perfect sense to offer flexible solutions around the need of the community to meet vaccination targets – it was undertaken in Shepparton, so the Andrews Government should also be offering it in Latrobe Valley.”