Shoalhaven pharmacies are gearing up to begin administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, with doses expected to arrive by the end of next week.
Hopes Vincentia have already opened up appointments for the vaccine, which has been recommended for everyone 12 years and older.
Doses of Moderna are scheduled to arrive at Hopes Vincentia on Sunday, with appointments available the next day.
"We've opened up our first appointments on September 27 for Monday and Tuesday," said pharmacist Carolyn Keywood.
"We will then have appointments available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. And Thursday and Friday, we have reserved for AstraZeneca appointments."
Carolyn said 200 doses of Moderna were ordered for Hopes Vincentia, and more will be ordered once demand for appointments increase.
Blooms the Chemist Junction Street will also be receiving doses of the Moderna jab on Wednesday, 29 September.
An additional one million Moderna doses were secured by the government last Sunday and will go directly to community pharmacies across the country.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended Moderna for everyone 12 years and older, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved of the vaccine for those aged 12 to 59.
Carolyn welcomes the Moderna jab's approval for use in groups that may have struggled to secure a vaccine previously.
"We're really happy that we can help get the vaccine out there to keep everyone safe," she said.
Latest vaccine rates for the region show uptake has been strong and the Shoalhaven is very close to 50 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated.
According to data from NSW Health, 76.7 per cent of the Shoalhaven population have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Those who book in for Moderna can expect to be fully vaccinated four to six weeks later.
Pharmacists have also welcomed the ability to store the vaccine doses more easily and for longer than Pfizer, which requires conditions of minus 70 degrees.
"It's a little easier to store than Pfizer, so it's reassuring that we will have Moderna at the pharmacy," said Carolyn.
To find your nearest participating community pharmacy and book your appointment online, visit: https://www.findapharmacy.com.au/our-services/vaccination-services-covid-19
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