Online bookings are now being taken for Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with appointments available from next Monday.
Phase 1B will include anyone 70 years or over, along with more healthcare and frontline workers, and people with particular medical conditions.
Roughly 1000 GP clinics will be able to start vaccinations from Monday, and the government says that figure will climb to 4000 by the end of April.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said about 200,000 people had been vaccinated so far, but the program would now accelerate.
“This staged scale up will align with the supply of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine, and as more vaccine becomes available more services will come online,” he said.
Bookings can be made online through the vaccine eligibility checker on the health.gov.au website.
People are required to step through the checker before they are given an option to see participating GPs.
However, many GPs listed on the site offer only the option for phone bookings.
Under the government’s vaccine rollout, 678,000 people are to receive vaccinations in Phase 1A.
This group includes border, quarantine, health and aged care workers, and aged care residents.
Phase 1B – the second group for which bookings can be made now – includes Australians 70 or over, Indigenous Australians 55 or over and younger Australians with underlying medical conditions.
The latter group totals more than 6 million people.
The government intends all Australians to be offered an initial vaccine dose by the end of October.