BY JARROD MELMETH

UPDATE 11:30AM

The NSW Premier has responded to concerns from Hunter residents who had their COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Belmont cancelled.

During her daily media conference, Gladys Berejiklian told Journalists everyone needs to make sacrifices.

“There are 8 million people in NSW and all of us are making a sacrifice. If it means that some people have to wait a few extra weeks before they get their Pfizer I think people can appreciate that,” Ms Berejiklian said.

It follows reports of a number of critical workers and people with underlying health issues being among those who have had appointments cancelled.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant says the regions have been deliberately spared.

“At the moment vaccinating populations in Sydney and South Western Sydney is the priority.

“Also those young HSC students are the workers. They’ve often got part-time jobs in supermarkets and other things. They are workers.

“They also bridge generations. That young age group through to our 40-year-olds are the ones that are predominantly transmitting the virus and so therefore I look at them as not just students but also workers out and about doing essential tasks. They’re often looking after their families as the bridge between the older and younger generations,” Dr Chant said.

EARLIER

BY IAN CROUCH

There’s widespread anger after more than 5,000 people were told their COVID vaccine injections at Belmont had been cancelled.

Text messages were sent out on Saturday advising the Pfizer inoculations they were supposed to receive at the mass vaccination hub were being redirected to Year 12 students in Sydney.

This includes people who were scheduled to receive their second shot – despite assurances they would not be affected.

Hunter New England Health says it’s aware of an issue involving some second dose Pfizer and 1a and 1b priority appointments which have inadvertently been re-scheduled.

People in these categories should call the Mass Vaccination Clinics Booking Support Service on 1800 571 155 to have their appointment re-instated.

Alternatively, people can email HNELHD-COVIDClinicBookingChange@health.nsw.gov.au