Wagga clinics are being slammed with requests for vaccine appointments in the wake of Sydney's worsening COVID outbreak, with patients under 40 starting to come forward in force.
Blamey Street Surgery is one of five Wagga clinics who will be offering Pfizer this month and director of the clinic Dr Rachel Glasson said their AstraZeneca appointments are being filled with under-40s not yet eligible for the preferred dose for their age group.
"Yesterday I had an AstraZeneca first dose clinic and I would say at least half the patients there were under 40, so there are people who are taking that on [and] that's been good to see," she said.
Blamey Street's administrative staff have been "run off their feet" with requests for vaccines and put the hike in interest down to fear generated by Sydney's deteriorating position.
"The phones have been very busy, the receptionists have been absolutely getting smashed," Dr Glasson said.
"Now that you see the way things are developing in Sydney, and that's not going in the right direction at all, I think that's prompted people to be more concerned and more proactive in getting vaccinated, which is what we need."
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The demand for AstraZeneca among young people is particularly driven by the Sydney outbreak, Dr Glasson said.
"I think people are more understanding and appreciative of the urgency and need to get protected especially now we've had a couple of deaths in Sydney... definitely the under-40s are coming forward now which I wasn't expecting," she said.
Dr Ayman Shenouda, who is the director of Glenrock Country Practice where the federal vaccine clinic is being run, said their vaccination bookings are through the roof but the main interest is in the Pfizer they have been offering since last week.
"There's a huge uptake [of] Pfizer, we're booked for I think four weeks," he said. "We're getting 900 doses next week and we had to get extra staff to deliver [them]."
He agreed fear of Sydney's outbreak, which spread to Goulburn on Tuesday with a single positive case detected in an essential worker, is driving the demand.
"With the number of Pfizers we have administered, I didn't expect [them] to go that quickly but it is because of the threat, people are starting to understand the nature of the virus a bit more," he said.
"It is a bit sad to see because you don't want people to need to feel threatened to get the vaccination, but that is what is happening."
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