Vaccine demand surge

There appears to be growing frustration and demand for easier access to COVID vaccinations, according to a local pharmacist.

Pharmacist Jen Maloney has been in demand administering the vaccine at Terry White Chemmart.

“We had been living in a fortunate situation, up until recently,” she said.

“Talking to people, there appears to be a lot of frustration around challenges associated with getting the vaccine.”

According to Mrs Maloney, some of the challenges included making online bookings and long wait times to receive the vaccine.

“People wanting the vaccine report there are no appointments or long wait times,” she said.

“Some people are travelling to other towns to get vaccinated.”

The Department of Health online vaccine clinic finder shows the earliest available bookings in and around Mount Gambier is in seven days.

Other clinics have availability in 30 days, while a majority show no appointments available and recommend checking availability with other pharmacies.

Since May regional residents over the age of 16 have been eligible for a COVID vaccine.

In line with the national rollout, the Moderna Vaccine is available to eligible patients, aged 12 years and up and the AstraZeneca Vaccine is available to eligible adults 18 years and up.

To receive a jab from one of SA Health’s regional vaccine hubs, people are required to book in advance.

But Mrs Maloney said appointments have been hard to come by and residents were frustrated that despite the recommendations to get vaccinated, they have been unable to secure appointments.

“It’s important to ensure you’re eligible for the Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine before booking an appointment,” she said.

“In the meantime, everyone still needs to practice good hygiene, maintain social distance and stay at home if unwell and get tested.”

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