Bendigo's COVID-19 vaccination hub opened on Monday morning, with clinical nurse consultant Nicole Harper the first Bendigo Health staff member to receive a vaccination at the Stewart Street site.
Ms Harper has screened more than 4000 people for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic and was excited to receive the health service's first vaccine.
"I feel really honoured to receive this," Ms Harper said.
"The pandemic has been a rollercoaster, especially during the busy periods, where you do have concerns about transmission to family and friends.
"It's a proud moment for me to say I've done my part."
Bendigo Health has received an initial 300 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for distribution to some of its healthcare staff, as part of the federal government's initial phases of the vaccine rollout.
Bendigo's first COVID-19 vaccinations took place in late February, as aged care residents received their first dose of the two dose vaccine.
Minister for Health Martin Foley and Bendigo MPs Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards were on hand to witness the first vaccine being administered.
"It's really positive to be in Bendigo as we continue the slow, steady, safe and every increasing speed of the Commonwealth's vaccination program, now starting in regional and rural communities," Mr Foley said.
Bendigo is one of six statewide vaccination hubs in operation, with three additional regional hubs to open on March 8.
As at February 28, the state government said about 4000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered at vaccination hubs.
They anticipate more than 40,000 doses will be delivered in the first four weeks of the program in Victoria.
As vaccine administration increases, Mr Foley called on the federal government to be more transparent about the vaccine's distribution, following the recent disposal of 150 doses of vaccine in Werribee.
"We were quite disturbed to hear there had been cold chain breaches that saw this very precious Pfizer vaccine wasted," Mr Foley said.
"We have sought meetings with the Commonwealth and Aspen Medical to go through the situation with them.
"We think there is a need for the Commonwealth to share more information and be more open to make sure the program can be delivered safely."
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is expected to ramp up in coming weeks, following the arrival of the first 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from overseas.
The first shipment of the vaccine arrived last Sunday, with manufacturer CSL expected to produce 50 million doses of this vaccine in Australia.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration will now batch test the first shipment to ensure it meets Australia's strict quality standards.
The rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine is due to commence from March 8, subject to the TGA's testing process.
Despite the number of workers permitted to return on premises increasing to 75 per cent last Saturday, Mr Foley said further changes would be subject to public health advice.
"The public health team monitor the situation daily to make sure we can safely and sustainably return to a pre-COVID situation when it is safe to do so.
"We need vigilance if we want to get back to a pre-COVID situation and that happens by sticking to the public health orders and following the rules."
Victoria recorded its third consecutive day of no new COVID-19 cases on Monday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
- Bookmark bendigoadvertiser.com.au
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
- Follow us on Twitter: @BgoAddy
- Follow us on Instagram @bendigoadvertiser
- Follow us on Google News