Pharmacist overwhelmed with COVID vaccine bookings, as parents describe 'nightmare' process

© Provided by ABC Health

A Newcastle pharmacist is urging local families to be patient as they desperately try to book their children in for COVID vaccinations.

In addition to GPs and vaccination hubs offering Pfizer, pharmacies will soon start to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is also approved for use in children from 12 years and older.

Anthony Piggott will be getting his first Moderna doses in about two weeks, but demand is already outstripping supply.

“I’ll be getting 700 doses between my pharmacies, but my demand is much larger than that, it’s probably more than 5,000 people at the moment, ” he said.

“I need to work out how I can ration this out, because this will go on for weeks.

“Our phones do not stop ringing, please don’t call. If you’re interested, please show your expression of interest online.

“I am buried under vaccine enquiries.”

Mr Piggott said the wait between first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine is four to six weeks.

Quicker vaccinations in Sydney

Rebecca Scales, who lives at North Gosford on the Central Coast, says it’s been a nightmare trying to secure a vaccination for her two daughters.

She says she doesn’t mind what vaccine — Moderna or Pfizer — she just wants her kids vaccinated as soon as possible.

Ms Scales said her 16-year-old “lucked out” and got her first Pfizer shot last weekend because her father transferred his booking to her.

As for her 13-year-old, Ms Scales has secured her vaccination for next week but it’s 45 minutes away in Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

“I called a number of [Central Coast] medical centres and they just sort of said, ‘No we are booked up, we can’t do anything or you have to wait nine or 10 weeks’,” Ms Scales said.

“I thought I would do it online … and in the end they just sort of went, ‘We need to ask you a few more questions, we will get back to you.'”

Ms Scales was disheartened by the process and felt like she was going around in circles trying to secure an appointment.

“I’ve got to work – I don’t have the luxury all day to go vaccine shopping,” she said.

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