Mother turned away from Sydney Covid vaccine hub because she was carrying her newborn baby


Young mum’s fury after she was turned away from vaccination hub because she was holding her newborn child and wouldn’t give the baby to a stranger outside – despite being told on the phone it was okay to come with her daughter

  • Eleanor Hillard visited Qudos Bank Arena vaccination hub on Wednesday 
  • She was turned away because she was holding her seven-week old baby girl
  • She’d phoned ahead and was told it would be fine for her to bring her child along
  • Ms Hillard said staff at the hub suggested she leave her baby with a stranger










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.

Eleanor Hillard from Como, in the city's Sutherland Shire travelled to Homebush' Qudos Bank Arena to get her Pfizer jab on Wednesday morning with her seven-week old daughter Maeve

Eleanor Hillard from Como, in the city’s Sutherland Shire travelled to Homebush’ Qudos Bank Arena to get her Pfizer jab on Wednesday morning with her seven-week old daughter Maeve

‘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.

Ms Hillard was unable to receive her vaccine because staff at the vaccination clinic wouldn't allow her inside with her seven-week old baby. She was told to leave her with a stranger outside

Ms Hillard was unable to receive her vaccine because staff at the vaccination clinic wouldn’t allow her inside with her seven-week old baby. She was told to leave her with a stranger outside

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.

The mother had travelled to the Homebush vaccination clinic to get jabbed because Pfizer wasn't available in her area

The mother had travelled to the Homebush vaccination clinic to get jabbed because Pfizer wasn’t available in her area

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’. 

COUNTDOWN TO FREEDOM: THE DATES YOU NEED TO KNOW

September 11: Some regional areas set free

Several regional areas including the Mid and North Coast, New England, Riverina and Murrumbidgee, will emerge from lockdown at 11.59pm on Friday after almost a month of living under stay-at-home orders.  

September 13: Vax picnics

Fully-vaccinated Sydneysiders will soon be able to enjoy picnics in the sun.

The ‘vax picnic’ rule means anyone living outside the 12 LGAs of concern can meet in a group of five for a picnic, but all must be double-jabbed.

October 4:

Pubs and restaurants in regional areas of NSW are set to trial the state government’s vaccine passport technology that will allow double-dossed residents to prove their vaccination status when scanning into a venue using QR Code.

October 18: ‘Freedom Day’

The date is likely to coincide with NSW reaching a 70 per cent vaccination rate which means pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms and hair salons could reopen under the one person per 4sq/m rule to the fully-vaccinated only.

Non-essential shops would also be allowed to reopen. 

Wedding and funerals would also go ahead but there will be limits on guests. 

Venues such as night clubs however will not be included until higher vaccination rates are achieved. 

Late October/Early November: Regional holidays begin 

Once vaccination target reach 80 per cent, which could come as soon as late October, cooped-up Sydneysiders, including those in the city’s 12 LGAs of concern, will soon be able to pack their bags for a domestic holiday. 

But travellers will need to be double-dosed and apply for a special travel permit under the Service NSW app.  

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