The first people in Orange in the 50-70 year age bracket have begun booking for the coronavirus vaccine jab.
Orange GP respiratory clinic practice manager Ann Carter said several people over 50 had registered this week to have their first jab of the Astrazeneca vaccine at the Bloomfield Medical Centre-based clinic from Monday.
"I'd say a few have rung. Above 50s can receive the Astrazeneca vaccine," she said.
Currently people over 70, health workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over and adults with an underlying medical condition or significant disability are among those eligible for the vaccine.
However Ms Carter said they would like to see more of them register for the vaccine as they had plenty of appointment times vacant.
"I would probably say we have about 80 [more] appointments we could take a day," she said.
The clinic has room for 120 vaccinations a day.
"We have multiple doses available," she said.
Ms Carter said cases of people suffering blood clots after receiving the Astrazeneca vaccine was a factor in less people getting the vaccinations than were available.
"I thought that people would have been more likely to come forward," she said.
"There are very few cases of adverse [reactions], the blood clots.
"Understandably [though] they are reluctant to come forward."
However, Ms Carter urged people to register for the COVID-19 vaccinations.
"Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19 and is a core element of the pandemic response," she said.
"Currently, at the Orange GP respiratory clinic, we have vacant appointments available for the Orange and surrounding communities to receive their COVID-19 Astrazeneca vaccine.
"The Orange GP respiratory clinic has recently been allocated sufficient doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the Department of Health to ensure the community has free access to the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out program alongside the general practices in Orange. "Healthcare workers and others in Phase 1a and Phase 1b remain a priority for receiving their COVID-19 vaccination.
"The Department of Health has made a decision for our clinic to vaccinate people aged 50 years and above therefore the general public can make an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine commencing on Monday May 3." Book by calling 5335 6666 or online.
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