Canberrans between the ages of 30 to 39 can now book in for their Pfizer vaccine as the ACT’s vaccine rollout continues to expand and pick up pace.
Appointments for those under the age of 39 will begin at the ACT Government-run Pfizer hubs from as early as Saturday (7 August).
Capacity across the two Pfizer max vaccination hubs at Garran and the airport ramped up to 14,000 jabs a week last week. This is expected to increase to between 15,000 and 16,700 doses a week from September.
The expansion comes as half of the ACT has received their first jab of any vaccine, and almost one in four are fully vaccinated.
The ACT crossed the 50 per cent milestone just days after National Cabinet agreed on vaccination targets for states and territories to move to the next phase of opening up and minimising restrictions within their respective jurisdictions.
A target of 70 per cent of eligible adults being fully vaccinated has been set to move to phase two of the new plan, where lockdowns will become rarer and more targeted.
An 80 per cent target has been set for the third phase where jurisdictions will seek to minimise serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus with baseline restrictions without lockdowns, which would only be used in rare cases.
Both the Australian average and the vaccination rate for a particular state or territory will need to surpass the vaccination threshold for it to be eligible to move to the next phase.
No vaccination target has been set for the fourth and final phases, which will almost entirely unlock the country from restrictions and limited international travel.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said there are no viable alternatives to vaccination to protect the community from serious illness arising from the virus and to ending lockdowns and travel restrictions due to outbreaks.
“The vaccines significantly reduce the risk of ending up in [intensive care] because of a COVID-19 infection. The more people who get a vaccination, the better protected our entire community will be,” he said.
“Canberrans are responding to the calls to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. We want the Territory to continue being above the national average throughout the national rollout of the vaccine.
“As we see new outbreaks across the country and the emergence of highly transmissible strains, now is the time for all eligible Canberrans to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.”
Mr Barr’s comments come in light of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant encouraging young Sydneysiders to get any available vaccine as the delta cluster in the state continues to grow.
Tuesday’s figures revealed a further 199 cases of local transmission in NSW, at least 50 of which were infectious while in the community.
Ms Berejiklian said she aimed to have six million jabs in arms by the end of August, bringing the state’s fully vaccination population to 50 per cent.
But even if the state reached the target, restrictions would not be completely relaxed until a higher proportion of people were fully vaccinated, she said.
Community infections need to be “as close to zero as possible” before current lockdown restrictions in the Greater Sydney region are eased. The lockdown is currently due to end on 28 August after it was extended by four weeks last week.
The worsening outbreak has seen a greater take up of the AstraZeneca vaccine within Greater Sydney, particularly among younger people.
In the ACT, more than 16,000 of the 70,000 Canberrans in the 30 to 39-year-old age bracket have already received their vaccination. A further 20,000 have already registered their interest in booking their jabs ahead of today’s booking expansion.
Eligible Canberrans can book their jabs through MyDHR and are encouraged to use the online portal to arrange their appointments.
For more information about booking in for a vaccination or to find out if you are eligible, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine.