Community hesitancy to get vaccinated cited as cause of AstraZeneca jab wastage in Katanning

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Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
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PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 07: A vile of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine is pictured at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 07, 2021 in Perth, Australia. The opening of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic comes following the arrival of 21,000 doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 07: A vile of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine is pictured at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 07, 2021 in Perth, Australia. The opening of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic comes following the arrival of 21,000 doses of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images

About half of Katanning’s AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine supply is set to go to waste because of the community’s hesitancy to get the jab, according to a local pharmacist.

Katanning Pharmacy was one of two pharmacies in town to receive 300 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in July, but it has only managed to administer 140 of them within its three-month expiration period.

The remaining 160 AstraZeneca doses are set to expire on Monday,despite under half of eligible Katanning residents having received their second jab.

Managing pharmacist Mukhtar Hedayat said the initial vaccine rollout forecasts overestimated the amount of people who were eager to get the jab in Katanning.

He said while vaccination rates in some parts of the Great Southern had picked up, the initial hesitancy had led to excess supply.

“Initially, the rollout was determined according to the population of Katanning and how many people were thought to have come and get it, according to COVID outbreak statistics and vaccination perceptions from around the world,” Mr Hedayat said.

“But that initial hesitancy in town delayed it, because many thought we were in good hands — and to be fair, we were because it is much more controlled in WA. But once it hit over east and you had the reports of how well (the vaccine) protects you ... I think that was what pushed people to get it.”

Katanning Pharmacy is set to order a fresh batch of 100 doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine to administer to those needing their second jabs.

Mr Hedayat said the Moderna vaccine had since taken over as the primary vaccine at the pharmacy.

Katanning Pharmacy has now opened its appointments to walk-ins to boost the amount of people getting vaccinated before the expiration date.

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