The AIS Arena could remain a mass vaccination clinic well into 2022 as Chief Minister Andrew Barr hopes the federal government will continue to partner with states and territories to roll out booster shots.
The ACT government has set aside $50 million in a dedicated COVID-19 response fund that can be readily drawn upon in case extra pandemic support measures are needed.
The funding could be used if the government needs to continue its mass vaccine program to administer COVID-19 booster shots next year.
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$19.5 million has been allocated to the territory government's expanded COVID-19 mass vaccination program this financial year, but beyond that only $144,000 has been allocated in the forward estimates - at $48,000 a year.
Mr Barr said additional money had not been allocated as the Commonwealth had yet to determine whether it would continue to distribute vaccines to be administered at state- and territory-run clinics, or whether this would only continue through GPs and pharmacies.
He said he would welcome a decision to allow the ACT government to continue its program.
"I imagine it would be most efficient to do it in a partnership again across our mass vaccination hubs, which I would imagine would be principally the AIS Arena," Mr Barr said.
"Obviously this program would be one shot, so you could do it a lot more quickly.
"So the AIS Arena could well remain a mass vaccination hub in the first half of 2022."
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COVID-19 booster shots are expected to start being delivered widely in the first quarter of next year, with the shots likely needed six to nine months after people have received their second vaccine dose.
The ACT government's provision could also be used if business support measures need to be extended.
As previously announced, there will be $90 million poured into the COVID-19 health response.
$65 million will be allocated to manage the impact of the virus in the ACT and to boost resources for the chief health officer. This would include money for extra contact tracers, staff in public health and COVID testing teams, along with compliance, quarantine and hospital costs.
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