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Two Hunter LGAs, one simple COVID message

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One Local Government Area (LGA) remains in lockdown while the other was recently released from the strict state-wide stay-at-home orders.

But, both Hunter regions share the same message – get vaccinated.

Cessnock City mayor Bob Pynsent is calling on all residents to book their jabs today, while his Singleton counterpart Sue Moore has rolled up her sleeve to let her actions do the talking.

A Local Government Area (LGA) COVID-19 Vaccine Rates report published on 6 September highlighted that 57.5% of people from Cessnock received their first dose.

Surprisingly, only 27.7% have secured their second injection.

Being fully-vaccinated, according to medical experts, provides 90% protection against hospitalisation and death from COVID-19, while protecting your loved ones and the wider community.

Cr Pynsent is a huge advocate for obtaining the vaccine.

However, he also realises the issues faced by residents in his area.

“I have now spoken to Deputy Premier John Barilaro about the need to establish a mass vaccination hub in the Cessnock LGA as well as our need for more Pfizer vaccines,” he stated.

“At the upcoming council meeting, I will put forward a Mayoral Minute outlining the barriers faced by our community when it comes to getting vaccinated.

“Once the state opens up, there is no doubt we will see in influx of tourists.

“We have to ensure locals are safe and have had the opportunity to get vaccinated before this happens.”

Singleton mayor Sue Moore.

Meanwhile, Cr Moore – whose LGA was “freed” from the NSW Government lockdown on Thursday 16 September – has joined Upper Hunter Shire mayor Maurice Collison, Dungog Shire’s John Conners, Liverpool Plains Shire’s Douglas Hawkins, Mid Coast Council’s David West and Muswellbrook Shire’s Rod Scholes in a challenge to see which LGA is the first to reach a 70% double-dose vaccination rate for ages 15 and older.

Each will wager $200, with the winning leader to donate the proceeds to a charity of their choice.

“Singleton does not shy away from a challenge,” Cr Moore said.

“I hope as many of my fellow residents as possible will join with me to get vaccinated and take on our neighbouring LGAs.

“It’s welcome news for our locals and businesses that we were released from lockdown last week.

“But, we still have to be vigilant to protect ourselves, each other and our community from the spread of COVID-19.

“The NSW Government has made it clear that getting vaccinated is the best way to combat the virus and returning to do the things we love.

“I’m happy to support my fellow mayors in encouraging our communities to get vaccinated.

“And, while I’d love to see Singleton hit 70% first, there are really no losers if we all do our part to help NSW hit its vaccination target sooner rather than later.”

Cr Moore acknowledged residents’ concerns about difficulties accessing the vaccine.

“I understand there are people in our community who have experienced problems in doing that,” she said.

“I’ve raised this issue with Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell and am strongly advocating for more supplies to be made available in Singleton.

“Our Local Emergency Management Committee is planning another vaccine hub at Singleton Civic Centre on 3 October.

“So, I encourage everyone not to give up, and to keep trying to get both your first and second jabs.”

You can make a vaccination booking via Where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccination in NSW | NSW Government.

Alternatively, for the latest information, visit www.nsw.gov.au or contact the National COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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