Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lands in pharmacies across the Great Southern

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Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
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Great Southern Community Chemist managing pharmacist Ray Cui with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Camera IconGreat Southern Community Chemist managing pharmacist Ray Cui with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Tom Shanahan

The Moderna vaccine is now available in chemists across the Great Southern in a development local pharmacists hope will encourage more residents to roll up their sleeves.

Great Southern Community Chemist received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine last Thursday, joining more than 500 other chemists across WA in offering the mRNA vaccine.

The chemist’s managing pharmacist Ray Cui said the Moderna vaccine would give residents another option if they were hesitant about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine or unable to get an appointment for the Pfizer jab.

“There are always people on the side who are hesitant about vaccinations, but we will encourage people who come into our chemist now to get the Moderna because it has fewer health concerns,” he said.

Earlier this month, the St Luke’s Family Practice fully booked out their Pfizer appointments until October despite doubling their dosage storage from 150 to 300.

“It’s hard to get a booking for Pfizer in Katanning, so this provides people with an option outside of AstraZeneca,” Mr Cui said.

The Moderna jab is also set to become available at Katanning Pharmacy, which is due to receive 100 doses for the start of October.

Brenton Bouffler after receiving his first jab.
Camera IconBrenton Bouffler after receiving his first jab. Credit: Tom Shanahan

“We are encouraging everyone over the age of 12 to get the Moderna vaccination, we have plenty of doses and we can always get more,” Katanning Pharmacy managing pharmacist Mukhtar Hedayat said.

Agricultural Region MLC Shelley Payne welcomed the arrival of Moderna to the region and encouraged anyone who is eligible to book in now to protect themselves, their family, friends and community against COVID-19.

“Katanning people now have more opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine now available at selected pharmacies,” she said.

“Making it easy and convenient for people in Katanning to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is important to further boost the local vaccination rate.”

Both Katanning Pharmacy and Great Southern Community Chemist have also been providing the AstraZeneca jab since July and still have more than 200 doses to administer before they expire at the end of next month. More than 2.3 million vaccinations have now been administered across WA.

But with a first-dose vaccination rate of about 63 per cent for ages 16 and over, and about 45 per cent double-jabbed, WA still sits last compared to the rest of Australia.

The Great Southern has slipped behind the South West in recent weeks in the race to vaccinate regional WA. As of last week, the South West had administered 6414 doses per 10,000 people, while the Great Southern’s rate was 6166 per 10,000 people.

The Moderna vaccination is available to all West Australians over the age of 12.

Appointments can be made by talking to your local pharmacist.

St Luke's Family Practice nurse Kerry Harker
Camera IconSt Luke's Family Practice nurse Kerry Harker Credit: Tom Shanahan

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