Aged care facilities in nine Canberra suburbs will be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as the roll out begins next week, although several are yet to find out when the program will start at their centre.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced residents and staff at aged care centres in Curtin, Farrer, Garran, Griffith, Hughes, Narrabundah, Red Hill, Stirling and Weston would be the first to receive the Pfizer jab as part of phase 1A.
The rollout will begin on Monday with the Pfizer vaccine and will also include the AstraZeneca vaccine from early next month.
Front-line health staff, people living and working in residential aged and disability care settings and quarantine and border workers, will be the first to get it.
There are 13 aged care centres across the nine identified suburbs although it has not been confirmed which facilities will be first in line.
Among the centres which may be first to get the jab are; Uniting Care Weston, Jindalee Aged Care Residence, RSL LifeCare Curtin, Goodwin Village Farrer, Mountain View Aged Care, Warrigal Stirling Aged Care, Adria Village, Lifeline Care, St Andrew's Village, Southern Cross Care Ozanam, Baptist Care Griffith and Red Hill.
On Thursday afternoon, several centres in the designated suburbs were yet to be provided specific details of when the rollout would begin at their centre.
Aged care centres are required to get consent from residents and staff. One centre said it would need more than 48 hours notice to prepare before jabs were administered.
"There will be approximately 240 aged care facilities, if not more, that are vaccinated in week one. We are of the expectation that [there] will be at least 190 towns, and we'll also have 16 Pfizer hubs. Those towns cover all of Australia."
Mr Hunt said the first phase, expected to take six-weeks, would eventually include every aged care centre in the country.
Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy said front-line healthcare staff were at the greatest risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
"At the moment that risk is quite low. If we did get transmission, these are the healthcare workers who could be in contact with someone with COVID, that includes clinical staff in emergency departments," he said.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will also be distributed from early next month.
Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout will include residents over 70, Indigenous Australians over 55, people who are immuno-compromised and police and emergency services.
Phase 2A will focus on the over-60s, over-50s, the balance of Indigenous Australians, and then also critical service workers.
Phase 2B will be the balance of the population.