Over-30s line up for jab in Great Southern as next category eligible

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Over-30s can now roll up their sleeves in Albany after a major expansion of WA’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the expansion of the next category last week, officially launching at State-run clinics last Thursday.

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Albany Health Campus, which has had access to the Pfizer vaccine since April for high priority groups, has now opened up its Pfizer supply to over-30s.

WA Country Health Service COVID-19 vaccination program lead Margaret Abernethy said there had been 95,000 bookings for the vaccine across WA in the past week, with Albany residents jumping on board. “There has definitely been a lot of local interest in Albany,” she said.

AHC has opened up bookings until the end of July, offering the Pfizer vaccine and the Astra-Zeneca on different days.

Ms Abernethy said AHC remained the main clinic for the Pfizer vaccine in Albany.

“We aren’t aware that the Commonwealth has on-boarded the medical centres yet,” she said.

“The Pioneer Health medical centre was part of an Australian Government trial with about 20 respiratory clinics across Australia, and they have reported a good uptake of the Pfizer.

“Our State Government is very keen to encourage the Commonwealth to bring on GPs to have access to Pfizer as well as community pharmacies.”

She said ramping up delivery of the vaccine in Albany was an option. “If there is demand, then we will assess whether we need to open a specific community vaccination clinic like we have done with Bunbury,” she said.

“We will open it up again after July once we know more about the vaccination supply coming from the Commonwealth.”

While the younger age groups are at lower risk of COVID-19 fatality, Ms Abernethy said she did not believe that would affect uptake.

“I feel like they are maybe getting the message, that it is protecting themselves and the community as well,” she said.

WA now has a regular supply of Pfizer, with about 28,000 doses coming in per week.

A vaccination team will travel around to smaller towns, such as Mt Barker and Katanning, with both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. People can register for the vaccine at rollup.wa.gov.au.

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