Macarthur GP encourages parents to get kids over 12 jabbed

Dr Ken McRoary and the Macarthur General Practice team. Picture: Angie Duncan Photography (image taken prior to current restrictions)
Dr Ken McRoary and the Macarthur General Practice team. Picture: Angie Duncan Photography (image taken prior to current restrictions)

Macarthur GP Dr Ken McCroary hopes to encourage more people to come forward for the COVID-19 vaccine, however, he has also raised concerns about abuse directed towards medical staff.

Dr McCroary said tensions have been running high as vaccine supply in the region remained an issue.

He said only 25 per cent of south-west Sydney GPs had access to the Pfizer vaccine.

"The way front of house staff are being treated - the abuse, the threats - it's really disappointing," he said.

"Nurses and receptionists do not control the vaccine rollout, they don't control vaccine supply, they are just trying to help people out while putting themselves at risk every day.

"Some of my colleagues have been threatened with action from the medical board if they say they cannot give people the vaccine that they want."

Dr McCroary said there were several contributing factors for this, including vaccine mandates from employers and the ongoing stress associated with lockdowns.

"People are getting frustrated now," he said.

"They want to see their family, they want to go back to work, but that is not an excuse for treating each other poorly."

The Macarthur General Practice doctor hopes that as vaccine supplies grow, that more people will come forward to be vaccinated.

"We still have significant infection rates in south-west Sydney - we've had thousands of new cases in the past seven days," Dr McCroary said.

"The numbers don't appear to be dropping which is disappointing.

"We have COVID positive patients who are infecting other households because they haven't been isolating.

"We know it's hard but you have to listen to the public health advice if we want to stop cases from growing."

Dr McCroary said he also hoped that parents would book their 12- to 16-year-olds to get the jab now that they had been included in the rollout.

"Talk to your kids about the vaccine and how it could help them to protect the community," he said.

"Kids under 12 currently aren't approved for the vaccine so you could also talk to them about how it would protect their friends or siblings who are under that age.

"Make an appointment with the family GP to discuss what is best for your child."

The Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provided provisional approval for its use on children over 12 years of age.

"Both Pfizer and Moderna have been approved for use on children overseas," Dr McCroary said.

"If we could get everyone done before they go back to school it would be very protective, especially for teachers and other staff who may not be fully vaccinated yet."

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