COVID-19 testing staff who will be among the first in the ACT to get the Pfizer vaccine say they are excited for the jab, and hope to encourage others to get it.
Registered nurses Vimala Joseph and Nikoletta Karagiannidis have been on the front lines of the territory's pandemic response, testing Canberrans for coronavirus at the Garran Surge Centre.
When the centre takes on the dual role of a testing facility and Pfizer vaccination hub from next week, they'll be on the front lines then, too; administering the Pfizer vaccine to Canberra's healthcare, quarantine and border workers.
They'll also be among the first to get the jab as part of stage "1a" of the territory's vaccine rollout plan, which will start next week.
"I'm feeling very privileged and very excited to be one of the first people doing it," Ms Karagiannidis said.
After rigorous training on Tuesday, both nurses said they were confident in the rollout to come.
"[The training] goes into great depth, not only [about the] COVID vaccine but [about] all vaccines in general," Ms Karagiannidis said.
Ms Joseph said she hoped to encourage her colleagues and the community to follow their lead and get the jab.
"We are the example. We are going to get the first of the vaccines, so please come forward and save our country," she said.
A spokesman for the Australian Medical Association on Tuesday said the general feeling among healthcare workers in the territory was anticipation about getting the vaccine.
He said most took the view it was part of what was needed to "return to a better world".
"They understand that this, along with distancing and social measures, is a vital additional platform in our multi-pronged approach to beating this virus," the spokesman said.
"A great deal of the progress we've made to date comes from those amazing [frontline workers]."
ACT officials on Monday announced the territory's five-stage plan for the vaccine rollout, which included aged care staff and residents in its first phase, as well as frontline workers.
The plan would see all adults in the territory eligible to get the vaccine by July 2021 at the earliest, and children 16 years and under eligible - if it's the recommendation - by September.
On Tuesday at the Garran Surge Centre, the ACT's Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman fielded more of the media's questions about the rollout.
She said it was intended that the first Canberran be given the COVID-19 jab on Monday morning, but territory officials were still waiting to hear back from the federal government about when the ACT would receive its first deliveries of the vaccine.
"I can understand and hear some of the frustrations from listeners in the ACT ... about not being exactly sure when [the rollout is] going to start or when their turn will come," Ms Coleman said.
"Uncertainty and planning can be really challenging, but we're getting there."
Ms Coleman said there was scope for the provisionally-approved AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered at Canberra health facilities, GPs and community pharmacies down the track.
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