MEDIA RELEASE - Newcastle's only dedicated vaccination hub set to close
20 August 2021
Life Without Barriers has confirmed that Aspen Medical will be closing their specialist disability vaccination hub, based in the Life Without Barriers Head Office on King Street in Newcastle at the end of the week.
As of today, people with a disability, their carers and disability support workers will no longer be able to secure an appointment at the King Street vaccine centre which is operated by Aspen Medical and funded by the Federal Government.
“Aspen Medical’s decision to withdraw from this location is deeply concerning, as it is currently the only specialised vaccination hub for people with a disability in our region,” Ms Claydon said.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen just how vulnerable people with disability, their carers and support workers are to the COVID Delta variant.”
“Having a dedicated, specialist disability vaccination centre is essential if we are to overcome the multiple barriers that people with disability face when trying to get vaccinated.”
Ms Claydon said the Life Without Barriers vaccination hub played a critical role in the race to get more jabs in arms, with the King Street hub administering over 4500 vaccines to people across the Hunter region.
“Newcastle needs a safe, accessible and secure vaccine hub dedicated to NDIS participants and their support workers to drive up vaccination rates for this priority group.”
“I understand that Aspen Medical is looking for a new vaccination site, but I’m yet to receive any assurance that there will be no loss of specialist disability vaccine services in Newcastle.”
Ms Claydon said Aspen Medical owes the people of Newcastle answers.
“Will Aspen Medical commit to maintaining a dedicated disability vaccine hub in Newcastle?”
“Where is their plan for a smooth and timely transition so that NDIS participants and disability workers continue to get vaccinated at this critical time?”
“Will next week’s vaccine appointments go ahead?”
“How is Aspen communicating any of this information to people with disability, their families, carers and support workers?”
“It’s time that Aspen Medical levelled with our community. At the very least, these questions deserve an urgent response.”