Ballarat residents over the age of 50 have shown their eagerness to be vaccinated against COVID 19 on day one of the expanded vaccine rollout.
More than 400 appointments for people aged 50 and over were made over the weekend for vaccination jabs on Monday at the Ballarat Health Service Community Vaccination Clinic at the Mercure.
Eligibility for vaccinations expanded from Monday to include anyone aged 50 or over, and those under 50 who work in private aged care homes.
More than 33,000 people in Ballarat will now qualify in the new categories over over 50 years of age and other special categories.
BHS executive director primary and community care Craig Wilding said the response to the expanded eligibility was "really positive".
"We had 400 appointments made over the weekend for Monday, and with walk-ins we expect to get around 600 through and we have capacity for 900 to 1000 people a day," he said.
Among those aged 50+ rolling up their sleeves for the first dose of the vaccine was Buninyong MP Michaela Settle.
"Today is one of the few days it's really good to be over 50," she said before having the AstraZeneca injection.
"This vaccine roll-out is not just about us as individuals, it's about protecting our whole community. Really this is our ticket back to the life that we love and cherish - being able to travel, see our elderly and more vulnerable in our community.
"I'm very glad to see these mass vaccine centres open. It's great to start to see so many people coming through and ... it's a really great comfort knowing people are out there getting their vaccine."
IN OTHER NEWS
Although walk-in appointments are available at the Mercure, booking is recommended by calling 1800 675 398.
Patients attending the BHS Community Vaccine Clinic are asked to enter the Mercure from Burdeu St, park on Main Road or in the Zagames car park and avoid driving in the main entrance for the Mercure because of the increased pedestrian traffic.
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