A mother who spent half the day waiting at a Sydney vaccination clinic walked away without a jab after being told she couldn’t go inside with her newborn baby.
Eleanor Hillard from Como, in the city’s Sutherland Shire travelled 30km to Homebush’ Qudos Bank Arena to get her Pfizer jab on Wednesday morning with her seven-week-old daughter Maeve.
But before she even reached the front of the line, Ms Hillard was turned away and told by staff she couldn’t bring her child with her but instead could leave her with a stranger waiting outside.
To make matters worse the mother said she’d earlier called the clinic’s hotline to confirm there wouldn’t be an issue bringing along her baby, and was assured it wasn’t a problem.
‘I called yesterday to see if I could take Meave out and they said that would be fine and other people had been doing that,’ Ms Hillard told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I told that to the staff and they just said that those people were disconnected to them and that there was incorrect communication going on.
‘They said if I had an adverse reaction to the vaccination they’d be liable for my child. What was frustrating was just the lack of empathy.’
Ms Hillard said staff suggested she leave baby Maeve with another lady – who she didn’t know – who’d also been waiting in the line while she went to get vaccinated.
‘In a Covid-19 situation I find it very ironic that health professionals would be telling you that a complete random you don’t know could look after your baby,’ she said.
Other mothers with children at the vaccination hub were also turned away while one reluctantly let another woman mind her baby while she received her jab.
Ms Hillard said that woman was in tears and revealed her husband had passed away last year and there was nobody else to mind her child.
‘Women are the heart of families and it’s so important that mothers get vaccinated, we’re just trying to do the right thing and it’s really disappointing being turned away,’ she said.
Ms Hillard revealed that because she was breastfeeding, Pfizer was the recommended vaccine for her which was currently unavailable in her suburb – meaning she had to make the 30km trip to Homebush.
Fortunately a senior health official has since been in touch with the mother and medical staff will be sent to her home on Thursday to vaccinate her.
Ms Hillard said the other women turned away on Wednesday were expected to be contacted as well.
‘The system needs to be more empathetic to women and mums in all situations,’ she said.
The bureaucratic nightmare comes as NSW reached a major vaccine milestone, with 80 per cent of people over the age of 16 now having got their first job.
The double-jabbed rate is at 47.5 per cent, with 70 per cent being the benchmark for October’s ‘Freedom Day’.Internet Explorer Channel Network