After a chat with his GP, this interstate truckie decided to go and get his Covid jab – but was swiftly denied because of his job and asked to leave the premises.
Adam Thurling, 49, has been a truck driver for over 30 years, working as an owner operator for the past 20 years or so. He’s based in Port Macquarie, and each week, he travels through Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, carrying general freight.
Since the pandemic started, he’s been very careful to ensure he does the right thing but was sitting on the fence about whether or not to get the Covid vaccine.
A visit to his doctor on Monday put his mind at ease and he decided to bite the bullet. “My doctor said she thinks it’s a no brainer given what I do and advised that I have the Pfizer. Apparently there can be different side effects, so the different vaccines can be more suited to different people,” said Thurling.
And so, he headed to the Port Macquarie GP Super Clinic to make his appointment in person. He put his mask on, scanned the QR code and waited his turn. “I told the lady what I was there for and she asked if I had been out of the area in the past 14 days. I told her I was an interstate truck driver and I get tested every three days and have minimal contact with anyone,” said Thurling.
What happened next was not what he expected. “She went and called someone else, then they said they couldn’t do the vaccine for me. I said what do you mean, I’m an essential worker. Her response was that I need to self-isolate for 14 days before I can come in. She also told me to leave the premises because there are vulnerable people here.
“I get tested every three days, wear a mask, check in and do all the right stuff. I have minimal contact with anyone, unload late at night and bring all my own food.”
“It’s okay for us truckies to risk all this travel during a pandemic to put things on shelves, but God help us if we need any medical attention. They go on about how important it is to have the jab, then when we try to go and get it, they refuse to give it to us.”
And it doesn’t end there. On Sunday afternoon, Thurling’s 12-year-old son had an unfortunate accident on his bike which resulted in a broken collarbone. He and his wife swiftly rushed the boy to emergency.
Thurling was asked the standard question, “Have you been out of the area in the past 14 days?” And as soon as staff found out he was an interstate truckie, he was told only his wife could accompany their son, while he waited outside.
“This happened on Sunday afternoon at 4pm and I’d been home since Friday afternoon, so if I had this disease, chances are that they would have it too. I think when I’m already getting tested every three days, I can’t do any more than what I’m already doing.”