The ACT government will launch a major public information campaign as part of efforts to counter anti-vaccination messages amid concern vaccination rates could be affected by misinformation.
With the government preparing to roll out the first COVID-19 jabs from Monday, Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said she was concerned by false information circulating in the community.
Canberrans in the first stages of the program - including front-line border workers, virus testing staff and healthcare workers - will begin receiving their vaccination shots from Monday.
But flyers making false and misleading claims about vaccines have been distributed to households in Canberra in recent days, prompting renewed calls for people to stop undermining public health information.
On Saturday, about 150 people, including some affiliated with far-right groups, gathered near the Carillon on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin to protest mandatory vaccinations - despite no such initiative being proposed.
Ms Stephen-Smith said the vast majority of Canberrans wouldn't be swayed by anti-vaccination arguments, but there was always a risk people could take them seriously.
"The COVID-19 vaccines are only approved by the [Therapeutic Goods Administration] when there is enough evidence that they work and are safe," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
"The Commonwealth government and all states and territories are making every effort to deliver a safe and effective vaccination program across the country.
"I urge all Canberrans to access information about COVID-19 and the vaccines from trusted sources only. ACT Health and Commonwealth government channels provide up-to-date, factual and reliable information for people."
Some of the flyers, seen by the Sunday Canberra Times, point to websites which host discredited studies and false claims about vaccine efficacy and safety.
Coronavirus vaccines have been subject to a rigorous independent approval process, but one flyer falsely claims human recipients will be the "guinea pigs".
The ACT government is developing a new public health information campaign to run across radio, print, TV and digital platforms to encourage people to take a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available for them.
The ads will target culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people reluctant to take the new vaccines.
The campaign will be designed to keep people engaged with information about the pandemic, with concern brewing that Canberra's strong position over the course of the crisis has led some people to become complacent.
Ms Stephen-Smith said communicating with Canberrans had been a top priority throughout the pandemic.
"We aim to provide informative, trustworthy and up-to-date advice to the community so they understand the risks of COVID-19, our responsibilities in helping to reduce these risks and where to access healthcare services," she said.
"As the vaccine program rolls out, we will be ramping up our public health information campaign. This will focus on educating Canberrans about the COVID-19 vaccine, where and when they can access it and how they can find factual and reliable information.
Facebook's ban on news content has not forced a major rethink of ACT health authorities' communications strategy.
ACT government pages were initially caught up in the ban and had posts removed, but the pages were later restored to the site.
However, more emphasis in future information campaigns will be placed on government websites as the "single point of truth" for COVID-19 information.
Critics and experts have blasted the social media platform for removing news content while allowing false and misleading information to remain on the site.
The organisers of the the nationwide anti-vaccination protest on Saturday used Facebook to plan the events. Several thousand people attended protests across the country.
Police made multiple arrests at the Melbourne protest, where hundreds of people gathered at Fawkner Park.
Officers used pepper spray on some protesters when they moved beyond cordons and at times appeared to lose control of the crowd.