The New England region's healthcare workers should all have their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of April.
Armidale's elderly population started receiving the jab last week, some five weeks after the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Hunter New England Health (HNEH) public health physician Dr David Durrheim said the rollout had been held up by short supplies of the vaccine, and priority had been given to staff in Newcastle ports and the hotel quarantine at highest risk of exposure.
But with domestic production by Melbourne pharmaceutical company CSL now underway, the plan is to get the first vaccine into every healthcare worker who wants it by the end of April, he said.
"As soon as we can get them all protected, the better," he said.
The sooner we can get them protected the happier I will be. They obviously, as we've seen in Brisbane, have contact on a daily basis with people with COVID who've come back from overseas. They become our next highest risk of reintroduction into the community."
He said the "momentum" in the vaccination campaign should accelerate in coming weeks - particularly after the recent Queensland outbreak.
"I think probably a lot of people were in the 'wait and see' camp particularly those in the 1B [category] and so on, who were waiting to get into their GP.
"But vaccine supply was a key issue, particularly the AZ vaccine. We're going to see a massive ramp up in supply in the next few weeks and months. And that's going to make it much easier to offer the vaccine to everyone, who's now going to very enthusiastic, after what we've seen in Brisbane, to get jabbed.
"I would imagine that we're going to see a pretty phenomenal ramp up in vaccination over the next couple of months," he said.
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