CENTRAL Victorian man Ken Morton was among hundreds of residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as the rollout entered its next phase.
As of this week, people aged between 50 and 70 can get the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of phase 2A.
The vaccine is being administered at mass vaccination clinics, including Bendigo hospital.
Mr Morton said it was important for those eligible to receive the vaccination.
"You only have to look overseas and see what is happening at the moment and that tells me you're much better off if you get vaccinated now," he said.
"It gives us a chance."
With a road trip planned in the coming weeks, Mr Morton said it was the perfect time to get vaccinated.
"We are going away shortly and I would prefer to have some sort of immunity before I go," he said.
"It was very easy (to organise) and it all went fine."
Bendigo Health chairman Bob Cameron said by lunchtime on Monday hundreds of people had received the vaccine.
"This morning there were people lined up on the street," he said.
"We have had full capacity so far today and look forward to that continuing for a while because we want as many people as possible to get vaccinated.
"We are tracking very well today and we were surprised so many people turned up."
Mr Cameron understood there was some hesitancy about the vaccine in the community.
But he believes most residents are keen to receive the vaccine.
"People are keen (to get the vaccine) and are not expressing any concerns and they want to get it." he said.
"The rollout has been very slow but we are really getting traction from today and we know we have steady supply and we want people to get it as soon as possible."
Mr Cameron said anyone over 50 should be vaccinated.
"The older you are, the more dangerous coronavirus is so when you're over 50, you really need to go and get a shot," he said.
"The sooner you get it, the better."
Mr Cameron said Bendigo hospital preferred bookings but it was also accepting walk-ins.
He said people aged 50 or older in the Loddon Mallee could book vaccine appointments on the Bendigo Health website.
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