Pfizer vaccine appointments are already being cancelled in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District [MLHD] as the state supports returning Sydney Year 12 students to the classroom.
Some people booked for first vaccinations in the region have been notified their appointments were cancelled via text message or phone calls.
One Riverina resident, an employee of a frontline workplace who did not wish to be named, was booked to get her first Pfizer vaccination on Friday morning in Griffith.
That plan was dashed when she received a phone call late on Thursday afternoon, with the jab cancelled.
"All they would say is that there was a supply issue," she said.
"I received an email confirmation saying that I had cancelled my appointment, which I did not."
That led to a series of phone calls to private providers to eventually secure an appointment and vaccine at a GP clinic.
In other news
NSW Health yesterday did not respond directly to questions about how many vaccines would be diverted from Wagga and the MLHD geographical area.
"NSW Health is redirecting Pfizer vaccines from across the state," a spokesperson said in a short statement.
"People will be contacted directly in the next few days if their booking needs to be rescheduled.
"Around 20,000 HSC students are scheduled for vaccination and vaccination doses are being redistributed based on available supply from across NSW."
The department did not elaborate on where the available supply is, nor did it respond to queries on how many Pfizer vaccine doses have been, and will be, redirected from MLHD supplies.
NSW Health said Pfizer supplies to GPs won't be interrupted, as they are provided by the federal government, and AstraZeneca is available in state clinics and a growing number of pharmacies.
Those who have already had their first Pfizer vaccine, as well as those in the 1a and 1b priority groups, will not be be affected.
"NSW Health has also authorised pharmacists to offer AstraZeneca vaccination to anyone aged 18 years or over without precautions or contraindications who has had the opportunity for a discussion in relation to the risks and benefits of vaccination, and has provided fully informed consent," NSW Health said.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr said on Thursday he supported the move, saying it was the right thing to do.
"The priority has to be keeping the virus out of regional NSW. The question is: how do we do that?" Dr McGirr said.
"As I have already said, we need as tough a lockdown in Sydney as we can get. Unfortunately, this has got away from us. The government is responding and has announced further restrictions.
"As part of that, eight local government areas will go into a pretty severe lockdown for the good of all of us, and I think it's not inappropriate for us to help them a little bit."
Meanwhile, Griffith-based Shooters Fishers and Farmers Murray MP Helen Dalton has slammed the decision, claiming it devalued rural people and will not stop the virus spreading to regional NSW.
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