The Covid vaccine rollout into the ACT's disability care sector has started in earnest, with residents at 37 facilities now having received an injection.
Residents of disability care facilities in the territory were meant to be among the first to get the vaccine, as part of the Commonwealth government's in-reach program.
Many facilities were asked to "urgently" provide their residents' details for the rollout as early as January 25, but the rollout stagnated with only 10 facilities having received vaccines by April 2, then again by three weeks later.
The situation finally shifted after April 23, though, when the federal government issued an alert to providers informing them it had deployed Canberra-based Aspen Medical to "ramp up" vaccinations in disability care homes from early May.
The government has delivered on that promise, with 37 facilities in the ACT having received first doses of a Covid vaccine by May 6.
A government spokeswoman said 12 facilities had received second doses of the vaccine by the same date. At the total 37 facilities, 391 people had been given a vaccine.
"The in-reach rollout in the ACT has been increased over the past two weeks," she said.
"In-reach vaccinations are continuing in the ACT over the coming weeks."
The federal government again did not confirm how many disability care homes in the ACT were part of the in-reach program.
People with a disability and disability workers could also access the Pfizer vaccine through the territory-run Garran Surge Centre if they were under 50, or the AstraZeneca vaccine at the new Calvary Public Hospital Bruce vaccination clinic if they were over 50.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith reminded Canberrans as much on Thursday, and urged those in the disability care sector to "take the matter into their own hands" if they were tired of waiting for the in-reach program.
"If people are keen to get their vaccination, and they haven't heard anything from the Commonwealth and are able to get to one of our vaccination hubs, please get online or call the number and make a booking," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Valmar Support Services last week had two of their 15 ACT disability care residences receive first Covid vaccines.
Valmar chief executive Hugh Packard said his team were, for the first time, "feeling really quite positive and upbeat" about the rollout.
That was in stark contrast to how they were feeling a couple of months ago.
"We would send off queries and just get no response; it was a very difficult period," Mr Packard said.
"We had staff and families who we'd had to ... get ready and start looking for their approval to have it done.
"It put us in actually quite an awkward position when we seemed to be the ones that were presenting this information."
Mr Packard said some residents had gone and received a Covid vaccination elsewhere, and the company was yet to get any information about how the rollout into its NSW homes would work.
The federal government had flagged the "ramp up" of the disability care rollout would start with Aspen visiting facilities in the ACT and Northern Territory, then expand to other states and territories.
"All we've been able to message [the NSW homes] is that, because it's starting in the ACT, they should remain optimistic and positive that it will soon happen in NSW," Mr Packard said.
Mr Packard said the federal government underestimated the difficulty of rolling out Covid vaccines into the disability care sector.
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- An earlier version of this article stated that 541 people had been given a vaccine. This was incorrect due to federal Health information.