IT staff are working to free up phone lines across ACT government departments in an effort to take pressure off vaccination booking lines that have buckled under a record number of calls.
Territory Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said nearly 5400 Canberrans booked in for a Covid vaccine on Thursday, which "massively" exceeded the previous record of about 1750 bookings in a single day.
The enormous amount of calls was putting a strain on the ACT government phone network, with ACT Health saying "a small number" of callers had been cut off while in the vaccination phone queue.
The department couldn't pinpoint how many callers had been cut off.
Wait times were still significant on the vaccination phone lines on Friday, the second day Canberrans aged between 40 and 49 were eligible for a Covid vaccine.
Victorian authorities also announced on Friday the origin of four COVID-19 cases - a Melbourne family who travelled to popular NSW holiday destinations - was unknown, and not linked to the wider outbreak in Victoria.
ACT Health authorities were reviewing all past Canberra Covid cases to see if there were any links to the Melbourne family.
Ms Stephen-Smith said on Friday that Canberrans should first try to book their Covid vaccine using the My Digital Health Record online portal, before they tried to book using the vaccination phone line.
She reiterated those who did use the phone line should take advantage of the call-back option, rather than wait on hold.
The minister said there were about 800 people who selected the call-back option on Thursday and didn't hear back the same day.
"That got down to about 600 [on Friday] morning by the time I was briefed at 9.30am," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
"We're trying to get back to everybody on the same day that they called but if you don't receive a call back, please don't panic and call again.
"Your call-back will be made - it's just this demand is very, very high, and that's a great reflection of Canberrans being really willing to roll up their sleeves and to get vaccinated."
The ACT Health spokesman who acknowledged some Canberrans had their vaccination calls cut off went on to explain staff were working to reduce demand across the whole of government phone network.
He said that should result in less drop-outs on the vaccination phone lines, because some phone calls would be diverted out of the main network and into the online "cloud", freeing up space in the main network.
An ACT government spokeswoman said the health directorate would "continue to make improvements to the booking system as the vaccine programs rolls out, incorporating feedback from users and what we've learnt from earlier phases of the vaccine rollout".
The territory's My Digital Health Record system was fast-tracked ahead of its projected 2022-23 completion date to aid the rollout and provide an online Covid vaccine booking platform for Canberrans.
It has been a cause of frustration for some, with a design feature meaning people can only immediately sign up to the system if they've visited an ACT public health facility using their current Medicare card details.
Apart from Canberrans' calls being cut off on the vaccination booking line, there was also a technical error on Thursday which saw callers being directed to an incorrect automated message, which said the line was closed, for about 20 minutes.
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