VICTORIA recorded an upsurge in the number of people being immunised on Monday during day one of the new rollout phase.
The strong numbers seen in Bendigo were replicated statewide, new Department of health data suggests.
Just under 7000 people got the jab in the 24 hours to midnight on the first day that all people aged 50 and over became eligible for the vaccine.
That was up on the 3839 immunisations over the same period a week ago.
Numbers fluctuated between 3500 and 4500 on most days last week.
In a sign authorities took as encouraging given community concerns about vaccine safety, Bendigo Health yesterday reached capacity.
Hundreds of people got the AstraZeneca vaccine at Bendigo Hospital on Monday after the rollout expanded.
Among them was central Victorian resident Ken Morton.
"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.
A top federal health official told leaders Australians could die if his recommendations for India travel bans were enacted, it has emerged.
Australian chief medical officer Paul Kelly did not recommend fines and jail time but did note those were possibilities under biosecurity laws.
He said the advice and eventual flight ban was based on the possibility of a third wave of infections breaking out of Australian hotel quarantine.
Analysis by the Bendigo Advertiser's sister paper the Canberra Timeshas noted key players in the nation's capital agreed the move is "drastic" but that there are widely divergent views about whether it is acceptable.
"Now in these extraordinary times, is this a political line in the sand or not?" the paper asked.
The government is closely watching the unfolding situation in India, the Australian Associated Press is reporting.
Victorian authorities said that more than 14,000 people were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and one returning overseas traveller was diagnosed with the virus.
That person is currently in hotel quarantine.
Meanwhile, Victorian life continues to return to normal.
Councils including the Mount Alexander Shire have been rolling out funding for event organisers.
Mount Alexander has just awarded 26 organisers funding in what it says is a sign that the region is moving beyond the pandemic lockdowns and outbreaks that defined 2020.
Events include a billy-cart challenge, a jazz festival and 170th anniversary celebrations of a pro-democracy "monster meeting".
- With AAP and the Canberra Times
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