Another 15 nurses will join Canberra's vaccination workforce over the next couple of weeks, as the ACT prepares to ramp up its rollout of the Pfizer vaccine.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith on Friday said the territory's target of about 1000 jabs a week would stick around for the next fortnight, and scale up based on supply after that.
She said the ACT met that target in the first week of the rollout.
Cathie O'Neill, who has coordinated the ACT's COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, said she expected Canberra's supply would still be "relatively modest" for the Pfizer vaccine, but jabs would effectively double once frontline workers started turning up for their second doses.
Ms O'Neill said staff numbers would scale up, too, and another 15 nurses would start their training to work at the Garran Surge Centre vaccination hub over the next couple of weeks.
She said 10 new nurses started last week when the ACT's vaccine rollout plan was announced.
"We've been doing a whole lot of different workforce modelling to make sure that we're ready to go as soon as we know the number of doses we'll get," Ms O'Neill said.
"That sort of rough ratio of the 20 people a day [including 12 nurses, three or four pharmacists and administrative staff] to do 250 to 300 vaccinations is probably the right ratio."
Ms O'Neill said Canberra health authorities had a rolling advertisement up for COVID-19 workers so that "any time a nurse either thinks about it or moves into town ... if they meet our selection criteria we can recruit them".
She said authorities had enough applicants lined up in their reserves to fill the ACT's COVID-related jobs for a good while, and they had so far given many graduate nurses a great start in the workforce.
"One of the really positive things that has come out of this has been our ability to provide significant employment opportunities to some of our newly registered nurses," Ms O'Neill said.
"Everybody has done their online training almost in advance of us even asking them to do it."
Ms O'Neill said Canberra nurses' huge interest in COVID-related roles could be put down to them wanting to be part of history, as well as restrictions on overseas travel.
"I think there's an awful lot more nurses that are in town looking for work that otherwise may have been doing gap years or that sort of thing," she said.
Ms O'Neill said workers would be moved between the testing side of the Garran Surge Centre and the vaccination side of the centre in the coming months, partly to make sure they didn't get bored.
"But generally speaking we're after a higher level of clinical knowledge [and] skill in vaccination than we are in testing," she said.
"That's allowing us to bring some of the new starters into testing, and as they develop their skills we can move them across into vaccination."
Canberra health authorities are yet to get information from the federal government about how the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine will work in the ACT.
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