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Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou accuses government of giving Covid vaccines to Sydney North Shore

A western Sydney mayor has angrily accused the state government of making it much easier for people in wealthier postcodes to get a Covid vaccination as poorer outer suburbs suffer an outbreak.

Australia’s biggest city is a tale of stark contrasts when it comes to getting either an AstraZeneca or Pfizer jab.

Sydney’s south-west, taking in the Liverpool and Fairfield council areas, has eastern Australia’s lowest metropolitan vaccination rate despite being in a Covid hotspot.

Just 14.6 per cent who those aged 16 and over have had two doses, with 33.1 per cent so far receiving one injection.

A western Sydney mayor has angrily accused the state government of making it much easier for people in wealthier postcodes to get a Covid vaccination as poorer outer suburbs suffer an outbreak. Sydney’s south-west, taking in the Liverpool and Fairfield council areas (pictured is Cabramatta), has Australia’s lowest metropolitan vaccination rate despite being in a Covid hotspot

On the other side of the city, 26.9 per cent of people are fully vaccinated on the North Shore where a majority, or 51.9 per cent, have had one dose, federal Department of Health data shows.

In the eastern suburbs, where the outbreak of the more contagious Delta strain began in June, 23.9 per cent of eligible residents were fully vaccinated with 44.8 per cent having receiving a single jab as of August 1.

Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou said he and his wife Josephine struggled to book a timely vaccination in their part of western Sydney, where only 17.7 per cent of people are fully vaccinated and 35.1 per cent have had a first dose.

‘I don’t think it’s as easy for people to book an appointment in western Sydney and get vaccinated as easy as it is in the more affluent suburbs,’ he told Sunrise on Wednesday.

‘Only last night my wife, she conducted a little test with me in our loungeroom, where she jumped online and she could potentially book herself a vaccination appointment within seven days if her postcode was within the northern suburbs or eastern suburbs area.

‘But for western Sydney, there’s was potentially up to a 30-day wait so that may be part of the problem. We’re a bit short of jabs out here.’

Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou (pictured right with Sunrise host David Koch) said he and his wife Josephine struggled to book a timely vaccination in their part of western Sydney, where only 17.7 per cent of people are fully vaccinated

Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou (pictured right with Sunrise host David Koch) said he and his wife Josephine struggled to book a timely vaccination in their part of western Sydney, where only 17.7 per cent of people are fully vaccinated

Australia’s lowest vaccination rates for two doses

Western Australia outback north: 8.6 per cent

Whitsunday-Mackay, regional north Queensland: 10.2 per cent

Logan-Beaudesert, suburban and rural south-east Queensland: 13.2 per cent

Western Australia outback south: 13.3 per cent

New South Wales far west: 13.4 per cent 

Sydney south-west: 14.6 per cent

Coffs Harbour-Grafton, regional NSW north coast: 14.6 per cent 

Perth north-east: 14 per cent 

Source: Department of Health data for fully vaccinated Australians aged 16 and over on August 1, 2021 based on Australian Bureau of Statistics SA4 areas

Sunrise host David Koch was outraged.

‘That’s silly when southwestern Sydney is one of the real hotspots,’ he said.  

New South Wales recorded 233 new daily Covid cases on Wednesday, a level only marginally below Sunday’s 239 which was the highest since the Delta outbreak, with an overwhelming majority of cases in south-west Sydney.

Residents in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Campbelltown and the Georges River are subject to stricter measures banning them from venturing more than 5km from home, even for work unless they are employed in the health or emergency services sectors.

With Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling on NSW to hit a six million vaccination target, Mr Christou said he had offered 19 community centres to be turned into immunisation hubs.

‘Just come in: give us the nurses, give us the jabs, and we’ll absolutely help you reach your six million target,’ he said.

‘But it’s hard to do that when you’re not giving us nurses or jabs.’ 

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese called on the federal government to beg Israel and the United States for leftover Pfizer jabs.

‘I would have been on to our allies firstly,’ he told the 7.30 program.

‘In the United States, which, of course, was able to provide additional vaccines to Canada and Mexico. 

‘I would have got onto Israel that provided its Pfizer vaccines that it couldn’t use before the expiry date to South Korea.

Residents in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland (pictured is an Auburn Covid testing queue), Blacktown, Parramatta, Campbelltown and the Georges River are subject to stricter measures banning them from venturing more than 5km from home, even for work unless they are employed in the health or emergency services sectors

Residents in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland (pictured is an Auburn Covid testing queue), Blacktown, Parramatta, Campbelltown and the Georges River are subject to stricter measures banning them from venturing more than 5km from home, even for work unless they are employed in the health or emergency services sectors

‘I would be doing everything that is possible to try to get access to more vaccines.’

Westpac is offering to vaccinate its 10,000 bank employees in Sydney’s eight worst-affected local government areas. 

Chief executive Peter King said this would enable them to turn up to work, with banking considered an essential service.

‘For employees who continue to attend a work site, such as a branch, having access to these pilot vaccination hubs will make it easier for them to balance the demands of work, home life and being in lockdown, while prioritising their health and getting vaccinated,’ he said.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk