Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2193 ..
We are expecting to receive an increase in supply of COVID-19 vaccines in coming months from the commonwealth. This will support the ACT to open even more appointments and continue to expand eligibility. Getting vaccinated provides protection to recipients of the vaccine and helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 to vulnerable patients and residents of the wider community.
DR PATERSON: Minister, how is the territory increasing the number of people who can access the vaccination?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the supplementary. As members may be aware, on Saturday, 17 July the Chief Minister announced that from Wednesday, 21 July, 30- to 39-year-old Canberrans were able to register through the digital health record consumer portal MyDHR, the ACT government’s online booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 20,000 30- to 39-year-olds took up the opportunity to register their interests. This is another excellent indication that Canberrans are ready and willing to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones. This call for registration was possible due to the excellent organisation and preparation of our public health officials.
This morning those 20,000 30- to 39-year-olds received a text message to tell them they could now book their COVID-19 vaccination. The opening of eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination appointments to 30- to 39-year-olds is an exciting development for the ACT government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
Of the 70,000 30- to 39-year-olds in the ACT, 16,000 have already received at least their first COVID-19 vaccination dose as part of phases of 1a and 1b. Now we are encouraging the remaining 54,000 30- to 39-year-olds to roll up their sleeve to protect themselves, their families and their community.
Vaccines are the only way out of this pandemic. There is no other viable alternative to protect yourself and people around you from very series illness as result of COVID-19. I encourage all eligible Canberrans to receive vaccination.
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how is the ACT planning for the expected increase in vaccines in the final quarter of the year?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. The ACT government is continuing to plan for the anticipated increase in supply of COVID-19 vaccines from the commonwealth. This increased supply will place us in a position to increase our vaccination appointments to more eligible Canberrans.
A recent successful change in the patient model of care in ACT government clinics has significantly increased throughput and resulted in more Canberrans having access to a COVID-19 vaccine. In the last fortnight the essential access and sensory clinic has also almost doubled its weekly appointments. This is in response to excellent community uptake and stakeholder feedback.