Guardian Pharmacy in Narrogin sees a surge of over 60s following Moderna’s arrival

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
A health worker shows a vial of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.
Camera IconA health worker shows a vial of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. Credit: Gustavo Garello/AP, Gustavo Garello

Dozens of over 60s stepped forward last week to get their Moderna COVID-19 jab in Narrogin in an influx that shows the hesitancy of the age group towards the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The vaccine became available to ages 12 and over at Guardian Pharmacy last Thursday and about 40 people had received the Moderna jab by Monday, according to owner Nik Patel.

“I think there was a lot of hesitancy in the community among the older population to get the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.

“The uptake has exceeded my expectations to be honest. Since Thursday and Friday we've had a lot of people 60 years and over ... so clearly they’ve been putting off getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

More than 2.3 million vaccinations have now been administered across WA.

However, 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.

Mr Patel said the recent increase in uptake was a good sign.

“We’ve overcome the supply problem and so now we can try to get those numbers up to 80 per cent as soon as we can,” he said.

“We started the rollout on Thursday, the response has been quite overwhelming actually.

“The demand has exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect this much interest.

“There’s more and more people getting vaccinated and we want to get these numbers up as soon as possible so we can start to live a normal life as soon as possible.”

It is a message echoed nearby at Earl Street Surgery.

Despite the Moderna vaccine not yet being distributed to GPs in WA, practice business manager Eileen Lloyd emphasised the need to get vaccinated.

“WA has been most fortunate compared to other States in that we have had ample space and time to prepare for what’s coming and to ensure that our most vulnerable folk in the community are protected as much as practicable,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails