From Monday Canberra's general practitioners will be able to offer appointments for anyone over the age of 50 to receive their coronavirus vaccine as part of the next phase of the national rollout.
It follows two weeks in which primary care clinics have each been able to order an additional 100 doses per week of AstraZeneca to stockpile in anticipation of expected demand from the ACT's over-50s population.
Over-50s have been able to receive AstraZeneca from special respiratory clinics or mass vaccination hubs in other states since early May which was announced as a change bringing forward parts of phase 2a of the original national rollout plan into the existing 1b phase.
The early release of AstraZeneca for over-50s administered by GPs would begin on May 17 under the new rollout timetable.
To facilitate the expedited rollout, additional doses are being made available to over 70 primary care vaccination sites in the ACT.
The clinics in the ACT are all classified as low- or medium-volume sites, and previously been allocated only 50 or 100 doses per week, but may now order up to 150 or 200 per week respectively.
The Royal Australian College of GPs noted some clinics had reported low demand in the earlier part of phase 1b of the rollout, leaving leftover doses intended for elderly people over 70 and other high-risk groups. These doses will now be available and prioritised to anyone over the age of 50.
Pfizer hubs will continue to operate for people aged under 50 years, following advice from the federal government's peak vaccination expert panel that the mRNA-based vaccine should be the "prioritised" option for people under the age of 50 to reduce the risk of rare blood clotting.
GPs in Australia have administered more than one million doses of AstraZeneca, with six case of blood clotting, including one fatality.
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