Young Australians are jumping the queue to roll up their sleeves for the coronavirus vaccine, despite not having an appointment.
Hundreds of thousands of West Australians have flocked to state-run mass vaccination hubs in recent months with similar scenes across the country.
But others currently not eligible to book an appointment are also being jabbed in what’s been described as a vaccine lottery.
While an appointment is strongly encouraged and are given preference, some who turn up without one and have time on the hands to wait in the queue may be lucky enough to score a spare Pfizer jab which would otherwise go to waste.
At least 14 jabs which would have otherwise been binned were administered at the Claremont vaccination centre in Perth’s west on Tuesday night.
They included a reporter aged her 20s currently not eligible for the jab under the current state rollout, the West Australian reported.
Some West Australians are jumping the queue for the coronavirus vaccine, despite not having an appointment. Pictured is a nurse at the Claremont Showground vaccination hub
It was second time lucky in the vaccine lottery for Queenslander Mark Deem who was in Perth on holidays.
He missed out on a spare jab Monday night and returned the next day in the hope of being fully vaccinated before he returned home this week.
‘I am in the high-risk category and getting vaccinated was important for me,’ he told the publication.
‘I live on the Sunshine Coast and if I head back into a lockdown I know I would have to wait ages for my second dose.’
Another lucky recipient Henrico Smit heard about the vaccine lottery from a friend.
‘A lot of people want the vaccine and can’t get it, and they are just wasting the ones people don’t turn up for,’ he said.
Those who turn up without an appointment and are prepared to wait until the end of the day may be lucky enough to get a spare jab which would otherwise go to waste. Pictured are Perth residents waiting to be vaccinated at Claremont Showground
WA Health confirmed jabs are administered to those without appointments if spare doses remain at the end of the day.
But the department stressed there was no guarantee and that preference is always given to those with appointments.
Daily Mail Australia contacted WA Health for further comment on the vaccine lottery.
The vaccine rollout is currently available to West Australians aged-40, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over the age of 16, adults with underlying medical conditions and their carers, essential outbound travellers with a travel exemption, critical and high-risk workers, health care, aged care, disability care workers and volunteers, as well as quarantine and border workers, including household contacts.
The WA Health website states no further bookings are being taken for those aged 30-39 due to restricted supply of the Pfizer jab.
‘Pfizer bookings for this age group will become available later this year, pending additional supply from the Australian Government,’ it states.
More than 947,500 jabs have been administered in Western Australia so far with 11.7 per cent of the state’s population over the age of 16 now fully vaccinated as of Sunday.
Premier Mark McGowan wants ‘at least’ 80 per cent’ West Australian vaccinated before stopping lockdowns when outbreaks emerge.
WA Health says vaccine appointments are strongly encouraged and are given preference. Pictured is Jo Dytlewsk getting AstraZeneca at a vaccine hub in May
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appealed to health experts to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine to younger Australians.
In April the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said the vaccine was only recommended for over 50s because of a low risk of blood clots in younger people.
The age was increased to to over 60s, denting confidence and delaying the jab rollout by two months as the federal government scrambled to get more Pfizer doses.
Anyone over 18 can get the AstraZeneca jab if they sign a consent form.
‘My message to Australians today is take the vaccines, please, that are available to you now,’ Mr Morrison said on Wednesday.
‘Discuss them with your doctor. That’s what has occurred in my family. [My wife] Jenny got her second dose last week of AstraZeneca.
‘Both my mother and my mother-in-law – they’ve both done the same thing. I’d say the same thing to you that I say to my own family.’
Coronavirus Australia: How young Australians in WA are getting Pfizer jab without making appointment