Ballarat community leaders are concerned the city has fallen behind Victoria's regional centres according to the latest vaccination figures.
The concern comes as Melbourne recorded 20 new cases on Tuesday morning and the virus took a stronger hold of New South Wales which recorded a record 356 new cases.
Ballarat fell to the fifth-highest rate of fully vaccinated residents at 26.6 per cent as of August 8 and was surpassed by both Warrnambool (27.5 per cent) and Melbourne's inner-south (26.8 per cent).
In the first lot of figures released last week, Ballarat had the third highest rate of fully vaccinated residents at 23.5 per cent behind Geelong (now 30.3 per cent) and Bendigo (now 28.9 per cent).
Ballarat's first dose rate is currently seventh in the state at 50.3 per cent, up from 48.1 per cent a week prior, but has remained steady with other areas of the state.
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton said while Ballarat was falling behind, having a scoreboard was an important measure.
"What it shows is that over the course of the last week, Bendigo, Warrnambool and Geelong have gone ahead of us," he said.
"What are they doing that we're not, I don't know. What I do know is that we can only control things we can control and that is we fill up those 700 appointments we have every day at the Mercure and the similar amount of appointments available at the UFS and we really get each other... to get people excited to go and get their vaccination because this is the way we are going to get out of this pandemic."
Mr Poulton, who has been leading the city's vaccination push, said he expected to see a surge in future figures after the state government's vaccination clinic at the Mercure opened up appointments to people aged 18-30 years from Wednesday.
"No doubt that those numbers will go up and what we've seen, even in the last couple of days, is that there's real appetite amongst the 18 to 39 year olds to get vaccinated," he said.
"Melbourne has shown that over the last couple of days and I think that the fact that the Mercure can now administer AstraZeneca to that age group, we will see those numbers really improve in the next week or so.
"We would be encouraging all 18 to 39 year olds to consider their options and book their appointment at the Mercure and take the AstraZeneca vaccine if they're happy to do so."
One newly eligible Ballarat resident did not waste time in booking his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Ben Lever, 33, said he was keen to get vaccinated as soon as he could.
"Really, this is the way out of the pandemic and once we can get enough of us vaccinated, that should allow us to get things back to relatively normal," he said.
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"Once the system opened up last night, I was able to get on really easily and book. The first available slot was next week... but I was able to get a booking pretty easily next week and I'm looking forward to doing it.
"A lot of people my age that I talk to seem to be in the same boat as me, seem to be pretty keen to get the vaccination done as soon as they possibly can."
However, there was confusion as some Ballarat residents received text messages informing them their vaccination appointments at the Mercure hub had been cancelled.
The text messaged advised people to call the vaccine hub to reschedule, with reports of delays of several weeks for re-set appointments.
Ballarat Health Services and the Department of Health did not respond to requests from The Courier for comment.
Member for Ripon Louise Staley said vaccination was the key to ending the state's lockdowns.
"After imposing six lockdowns on Victorians, the Andrews Government needs to make rolling out vaccines their absolute priority," she said.
"The Liberal Nationals have been calling for teachers to be prioritised for vaccination in Victoria so that we can keep our schools open, but so far, the Government has ignored these calls."
Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said the state-run clinics made vaccine access as easy as possible.
"Victoria's open access system is vaccinating more people than any other state or territory and we're continuing to ask community members - if you're eligible please get vaccinated - it's our way out of this pandemic. You can do this at the Ballarat Vaccination Hub, your local GP and soon through local pharmacies," she said.
"With more than half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine delivered through state-run vaccination centres in the past month, including here in Ballarat, Victorians clearly understand the value of vaccination."
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