NINETY locals are already booked in to have a jab of the Moderna COVID vaccine when it becomes available at Forbutt's Keppel Street Pharmacy this weekend.
Forbutt's will have its first lot of Moderna doses available on Saturday.
"We're extending our trading hours to about 5pm on Saturday to get as many people done as soon as we can," pharmacist Sam Forbutt said.
"I think, definitely, a lot of people are waiting for Pfizer, with Moderna being the same vaccine, pretty much; the safety profile is the same.
"In terms of effectiveness, they've found that it's probably more effective than the other two vaccines and new research suggests it's more effective against the Delta strain."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Pfizer and Moderna are MRNA vaccines, both made the same way with the same technology, though people receiving the Moderna will have to wait four weeks instead of three for their second dose.
After receiving the initial two doses of any of the COVID vaccines, it has not yet been decided what further booster shots will be required.
However, Mr Forbutt guesses it will become an annual vaccine much like the flu shot.
"There are new strains emerging all the time and so we're going to have to make new strains of the vaccine to be able to combat that," he said.
With around 83 per cent of Bathurst having received their first vaccination and many others booked in to get it, Mr Forbutt said the demand is not as high now as it was previously.
"I would think certainly in the next two to three weeks the majority of people who want to have it done will have their first dose and there won't be a huge demand or wait time," he said.
At this stage, the Moderna vaccine will be available to people aged 12 to 59.
Mr Forbutt said it is a very safe vaccination, however, there is an extremely low risk of developing a rare heart condition.
He encourages anyone who may still be a little apprehensive about receiving their jab to contact their local pharmacist to discuss the benefits versus the risks.