COVID-19 vaccine supply not an issue in the South West

The vaccination rollout is now in phase 2A so anyone over 50 can receive the jab. Photo from Shutterstock.
The vaccination rollout is now in phase 2A so anyone over 50 can receive the jab. Photo from Shutterstock.

South West GP clinics and residents are saying supply isn't an issue in the South West when it comes to getting a Covid-19 vaccination.

Brecken Health Practice Manager Chantal Campbell said in the last week, the Busselton clinic had administered 45 vaccines out of their 150 weekly allocation, whilst the Leschenault clinic in Bunbury had given 90 vaccines out of 150.

"We have plenty of availability of the Covid vaccine and would like to see more patients coming in to get it. We are now in the 2A phase so anyone over the age of 50 is eligible. There is no charge as the patient is covered under Medicare."

There is general consensus of the potential for blood clots from the AstraZenenca vaccine which has made some people hesitant to receive it.

Two South West residents spoke to the Mail about how their fears were quickly addressed when they went and spoke to their GP about the vaccination.

Busselton resident Michael Clarke shared his experience with receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccination four weeks ago.

"As a 79-year-old I'm at a vulnerable age and considered high risk. I was naturally apprehensive of receiving the vaccine because of the issue of blood clots," Mr Clarke said.

After expressing his concerns, Mr Clarke received reassurance from his doctor and therefore felt comfortable to get his first dose.

He is now asking the rest of the community who are feeling unsure to do the same.

"People are still hesitating because of the associated risks, but talk to your GP. It's important we protect the health of the community."

Mr Clarke said the Busselton Medical Practice informed him that despite having 400 doses of the vaccine, actual administration was going 'terribly slow.'

"People should be coming in at a rate that the doctor should be short of the vaccination."

A nurse from Margaret River Medical Centre told the Mail the centre was finding residents over 60 were keen for the jab, but those who were under 60 were still hesitant.

"There needs to be more education to reduce hesitancy over the vaccine, but regardless we're seeing a lot of numbers coming through. This week we are opening extra clinics as we are administering around 100 to 150 vaccines a week from our allocated 100 to 300 doses."

The nurse also said that due to how safe Western Australia has been in regards to the pandemic, there was a bit of a blaze attitude amongst residents about getting the vaccine because of not experiencing reoccurring lockdowns.

A Bunbury resident who asked to remain anonymous received her first jab last week at Eaton Health Hub which she said was a great experience.

The hub is allocated 400 vaccinations per fortnight and last week administered 305 jabs in seven days.

However, the resident said there seemed to be a lack of consistency, especially amongst the elderly, on where they could receive the vaccine and how soon they could receive it.

"I just want to inform the community that they have options. If your normal doctor only has a small quantity of the vaccine, you should be given the option or knowledge about going to another clinic. Too many elderly are being told to wait," the resident said.

"Eaton Health Hub were outstanding and they have plenty of the vaccine in stock. I received an email straight after I made my appointment with all the facts that I could choose to consent or not to and a video about the vaccine the day before. It really filled me with confidence."

South West residents are encouraged to visit their GP if they have concerns around receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and to do their research if there are longer than usual wait times.