There's been a surge in the number of bookings for the Covid-19 jab across Western NSW, with more people willing to get the AstraZeneca and avoid increasing waiting times for the Pfizer vaccine.
Western NSW Local Health District Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said the AstraZeneca was an "incredibly safe and effective vaccine".
"We're definitely seeing a surge in the number of people wanting to be vaccinated right across our clinics, our general practices, our Aboriginal services, and particularly an increase in the number of people willing to have AstraZeneca," Mr McLachlan said.
"Can I please encourage everyone to take this opportunity to book in to get vaccinated. Some of the waiting times for Pfizer are out to a couple of months, but if you want to get vaccinated now, AstraZeneca is a good solution."
Waiting times for Pfizer continues to be an issue at clinics in Dubbo and the Central West, but the Western NSW Primary Health Network said it shouldn't deter people from make a booking.
"While wait times in some cases are weeks in advance, WNSW PHN still urges everyone that has not received their first dose to take the time today to make their booking," a spokesperson said. "The Commonwealth Department of Health is increasing the number of practices that are providing the Pfizer Covid-19 locally, while appointment availability will vary depending on a person's group of risk, their location and relevant vaccination."
With more doses on the way and the increasing urgency to get the vaccines into arms, Mr McLachlan said he expects more local pharmacies to come online in "coming weeks".
"I know there is a focus on Greater Sydney at the moment, but I do expect in coming weeks there'll be more pharmacies in Western NSW able to vaccinate."
It's proven to be hugely popular at pharmacies already administering the jab.
"We're into our third week now, we ended up starting early as our stock arrived earlier than we thought," Narromine Pharmacist Sara McCarthy said. "We've had back-to-back bookings. Now that it's opened up to over 40s, there's been a huge jump in bookings for that age group."
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