The ACT government will open up expressions of interest for coronavirus vaccinations to people aged 30 to 39, so they can be easily scheduled for appointments as more Pfizer supplies arrive in two months' time.
The move will see the territory cement its position as one of the fastest-moving jurisdictions to roll out coronavirus vaccinations.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr told the ACT Labor Party conference on Saturday that COVID-19 outbreaks showed governments could not be complacent with the vaccine rollout and that it must be treated as a race.
"We've seen unvaccinated adults of all ages in hospitals and in [intensive care units] with COVID-19. We absolutely have to treat vaccinations with urgency and we must continue to do everything that we can to get people vaccinated as soon as possible," Mr Barr said.
Mr Barr said Canberrans aged 30 to 39 would be able to register their interest from Wednesday to receive a vaccine.
The Chief Minister said the government knew there would be strong demand for Pfizer vaccinations in the 30 to 39 age cohort, and that opening registrations before the jabs were available meant registration issues could be sorted out ahead of time.
"I know this age group has been asking about when they'd be eligible. We want you to be registered in the system and able to be booked in online as soon as the vaccines arrive," Mr Barr said in his speech to his party's conference.
"And we are working to open another mass vaccination hub to ensure everyone gets their shot, subject, of course, to Commonwealth vaccine supply."
Mr Barr said those who registered would be notified next month to make an appointment for their Pfizer vaccination at an ACT government-run mass vaccination clinic in September, when supply was expected to increase.
The announcement comes as the Pfizer vaccination hub at the Canberra Airport is preparing to more than double the number of vaccines it can deliver from next month.
Mr Barr said after his speech that the decision to expand registrations was made after difficulties in opening up the vaccination rollout to people aged over 40.
"It's about managing another 60,000 to 70,000 people becoming eligible for vaccination and we can get ahead of that and get everyone in the system, then it means more bookings can be made online, which is easier, and it means people aren't waiting on the phone or for a callback," he said.
ACT Health authorities have been able to slightly raise expectations of Pfizer doses arriving, but the announcement vaccines would land in Australia a bit earlier than planned won't be a game-changer.
ACT Health is now working on the assumption it will receive between 12,600 and 14,000 Pfizer doses a week in August, which will increase to at least 15,000 in September.
The new "horizons" handed to ACT authorities by the federal government give a clearer estimate of what can be expected but are mostly below the top estimations provided in June.
At least 17,700 Pfizer doses per week are now expected from October to December.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith on Friday said it did not represent a massive increase on what was previously expected, but it was still very welcome.
"We're continuing to plan for when we need to have a new vaccination hub to use up those doses," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said as Pfizer ramped up across general practices in the coming months, pharmacists would also need to be brought on to spread the load of the rollout across the system.
"We also have workforce constraints. We have a very busy hospital system at the moment, we have testing that surges at times and becomes very busy," she said.
Meanwhile, Canberra again recorded another day with no new cases of coronavirus.
The use of the Check-In CBR app has also dramatically increased, after the use of the platform was made mandatory on Thursday.
More than 668,400 people checked in across 9825 venues on Friday, up from an average daily check-in rate closer to 100,000 before the app was made mandatory across retail settings and public transport.
- with Kathryn Lewis
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: