Demand for long awaited COVID vaccines have again spiked in Busselton after another outbreak of the virus in the Eastern States, according to one of the most senior doctors in the South West. While bookings were quickly swooped up when the AstraZeneca jab was first announced, news of blood clots have reportedly halved the demand in recent weeks. But general practitioner doctor Michael Massey, who runs one of the main COVID clinics in the area, said waiting lists were again growing, which he attributed to another outbreak that has plunged Victoria back into lockdown. “Initially when we were in phase 1B, the over 70 year old’s, it was going very well,” Dr Massey said. “But publicity around clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine dented peoples confidence and we have noticed a significant fall off in people willing to come forward to get vaccinated.” He said the clinic at Busselton Medical Practice had been unable to fill available appointments in the last two weeks of May due to a lack of bookings, but now droves of people were snatching at the opportunity – booking up the clinic each weekend. “I think news from over east has brought it home to people that these outbreaks can happen quickly and unpredictably,” he said. “We feel very safe in Australia, particularly in Western Australia, and I think people get complacent.” Dr Massey said people were beginning to realise ordinary day-to-day tasks, like driving a car, pose a bigger threat to their life than getting the jab. “I think the publicity around the clots is settling now and people are realising the risk of those well-publicised complications is extremely low,” he said. The news comes just one week after changes to the approved storage period for the Pfizer vaccine were released. An extended storage period at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days from a previous five will mean the roll out in rural and remote areas later this year will be made much easier. Currently in phase 2A, the AstraZeneca vaccine is available to people over the age of 50 as well as to those eligible in phase 1A and 1B. AstraZeneca Vaccines are recommended for adults over the age of 50 with the risk of TTS clotting higher for people below this age group. Roll out of the vaccine in Busselton is reportedly going smoothly with all aged care facility residents vaccinated with their first dose for several weeks now.