A mum who was turned away from the vaccine hub at Qudos Bank Area has received her jab in her own home, as Health Minister Brad Hazzard steps in to overturn an archaic policy.
Eleanor Hillard was turned away from the mass vaccination facility for bringing her 7-week old daughter Maeve with her.
Mr Hazzard has since arranged for a doctor to visit Ms Hillard in her Como home and administer the vaccine.
He also called Ms Hillard and left a “heartfelt” and “sincere” apology, following pressure from The Daily Telegraph on authorities to help mums get vaccinated.
The rule preventing parents bringing children with them was put in place to prevent liability if a parent has an adverse reaction to the vaccine, which would leave their child without a carer.
Though it is still preferred that parents attend the clinic alone, breastfeeding mums and parents with nowhere to leave their children will be given more flexibility.
Ms Hillard said she also received a call from Westmead Hospital’s acting deputy general manager Amanda Greene.
“A representative from NSW Health contacted me and they said they will organise a home vaccination visit. I’m vaxxed now with Pfizer number one,” Ms Hillard said.
“[Mr Hazzard] gave a very heartfelt and sincere apology and he just wanted to follow up and make sure that Health had reached out.”
After sharing her story, Ms Hillard said she received a flood of stories from “the mum gang”, with dozens of women describing their own experiences of being turned away.
“I am happy that this has alerted the right people about the importance of vaccinating mums,” she said.
“Everyone has individual circumstances and the government is in a really difficult position and has to come up with broad brush policies, but these policies often fall over because some groups get really excluded.
“Sadly, so many people contacted me and said ‘this happened to me’. It’s clearly been an issue and it’s been two extremes. Some mums [found the hubs] were so accommodating and others were not.”
Ms Hillard said she was delighted when NSW Health confirmed that she would receive her second dose at home or that they would arrange an appointment at a local GP.
“Mums are the hearts of these families and the engine, and if women can’t get vaccinated, whole families fall apart,” she said.
This article first appeared on Over60.