Millicent residents long vaccine wait

By Raquel Mustillo

MILLICENT residents could be waiting weeks for a Covid-19 vaccination, with limited availability of Pfizer and AstraZeneca appointments at the town’s two vaccination sites.

As of print, the next available vaccination appointment at the Millicent and District Hospital – which offers Pfizer to anyone over the age of 12 – is on November 11.

The next availability is one slot on November 25, followed by another slot on December 9.

A number of appointments can be booked on December 16, with a majority of 15-minute times available on December 22.

The Medical Clinic Millicent, which is the town’s sole clinic, administers AstraZeneca and Pfizer, with some appointments remaining on October 14.

Medical Clinic Millicent nurse practitioner Jill Little said the health service had ramped up the number of Pfizer appointments, with medical practitioners offering a Saturday clinic for individuals unable to receive the vaccine during the week.

“We found a lot of people who are eligible for Pfizer work between nine to five, so we opened up another Saturday clinic to make sure we can reach them,” she said.

“The clinic receives about 300 vaccinations per week, plus the AstraZeneca, but that has really slowed down since Pfizer has been available to everyone.

“After the October 14 appointments, we don’t have anything until November which is also pretty heavily booked as a lot of those appointments are second doses.”

Ms Little said the clinic had administered approximately 3000 first and second doses of both vaccines.

“We haven’t offered Moderna at all because that is being delivered through the pharmacies,” she said.

“There are a lot of clients coming in from Mount Gambier, but there’s not really scope to increase the vaccines we are doing because we still have to do our day to day business.”

Despite Moderna being available in pharmacies, the vaccine is not being offered at either of Millicent’s two chemists.

Millicent Chemist and Giftware said although it was unlikely the pharmacy would be able to offer Moderna this year, there was potential for the vaccine to be administered in 2022.

In a statement, SA Health said planning was underway to improve accessibility to vaccination for Millicent residents and will provide more details once finalised.

“Appointments are in high demand and we encourage everyone to check the website for new appointments that are being added as more vaccine becomes available,” the statement said.