In a multicultural media press conference on Wednesday afternoon, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Multicultural Minister Geoff Lee thanked the people of NSW for their “outstanding support”, also thanking community and religious leaders for the encouragement in the vaccination program.
“Every religion has encountered their major holy days, major traditions and rituals impacted by Covid and I just wanted to say thank you,” the NSW Premier said.
“Now we are entering the next stage of our battle with covid; We need to make sure that all of our citizens, all of our communities from different backgrounds from right across the state, whether there in Greater Sydney or right across our rural regions, have the vaccination.”
“Our communities getting vaccinated means we keep NSW safe, we keep our loved ones safe and we can continue to have a normal way of life, but I also know many communities have strong links to families and friends overseas, and if we want to consider opening up our international borders in the future, we need to make sure our communities are safe.”
In a separate media conference, Archbishop Makarios, who has been vaccinated with both doses, gave a strong message to people of NSW to get vaccinated, saying it’s the only solution to get rid of this pandemic.
“I would like to encourage all the people, it does not matter if they’re Greek or not, Christians or not, Muslims or whatever, please get vaccinated. Take the decision, don’t hesitate,” Archbishop Makarios said.
“It’s not a matter that we have to protect our lives and health, we have to protect our society, we have to protect our country.”
NSW Health administered its highest-ever number of vaccines in the past 24 hours, giving 13,200 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, including 5,220 at the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park.
“As the Premier said, what we want to do is get out the message and we’re asking the community leaders to say, ‘Have your vaccinations now, vaccinations are safe, vaccinations protect the individual from the terrible covid-19’,” Dr Geoff Lee said.
“We are working with our faith and community leaders to ensure everyone in our community has access to reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccines.”
People aged 50 and over are encouraged to book their AstraZeneca vaccination through their GP in the first instance, but if they are unable to obtain the vaccine from their GP, appointments can also be booked in NSW Health clinics.
Those aged 40-49 can now also register their interest in receiving the Pfizer vaccine. They will be contacted and invited to make a booking when there is availability at clinics.