A text message circulating in Canberra has wrongly advised receivers they are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination due to an excess of Pfizer in the ACT.
Several people are believed to have booked into the Garran Surge Centre across the long weekend and accessed their first shot of the vaccine, after receiving the text.
The origin of the text message, which has been forwarded through federal bureau media circles resulting in some journalists receiving the vaccine, is unknown.
The SMS advises receivers they can receive the jab because people have missed or cancelled appointments and there is excess vaccine.
ACT Health said they were aware of the text message advising people to call the COVID-19 booking line to schedule an appointment and an investigation is under way.
"This SMS has been sent to people who are not eligible under phase 1a or 1b to receive a vaccine," a spokesperson said.
"This is not an ACT government endorsed message."
The ACT government said people who were eligible to receive a vaccine were contacted directly by their employer or ACT Health to book an appointment.
"At this point in time, if people have not been contacted directly by their employer or ACT Health, they should not be booking an appointment at the Surge Centre," the spokesperson said.
"We are reviewing the current booking process to identify how this has happened and will update processes and procedures as required."
Several versions of the text message have appeared, all written in casual language which differs from official ACT Health communication.
"Hey, super weird message but Garran Surge Centre has an excess of Pfizer this weekend and are offering them to the general public," one of the texts reads.
It goes on to advise people who are "keen to get jabbed" they were almost guaranteed a booking on the weekend and didn't need to meet the phase 1a or 1b criteria.
The booking phone number provided in the text message should only be given out by ACT Health to people who are eligible.
In addition to media circles, the rogue message has been circulated among several other groups in Canberra, with receivers reportedly forwarding it on to friends and colleagues.
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