CENTRAL Victorians have been urged to pre-empt "inevitable" COVID-19 outbreaks by booking in for a vaccination.
It comes as the Loddon Mallee marks a milestone, with its 10,000th vaccination dose administered.
Chair Bob Cameron said the 10,000 jab was "the tip of the iceberg" in the fight against COVID-19, urging over 50s to book a dose.
Mr Cameron said Bendigo Health would be able to administer 10,000 more doses across the region within just a month.
He said it was vital people continued to book for vaccinations, because another outbreak was "inevitable" in Victoria.
Mr Cameron said Australia's vaccination rate lagged behind countries such as India, where hundreds of thousands of people have died in a devastating second wave of COVID-19.
"Get vaccinated as soon as possible, because in the event of an outbreak, it'll be too late," Mr Cameron said.
"People will be clamouring at that point, and there'll be long queue, and you might not get a vaccine. So get vaccinated now.
"When nearly everybody is vaccinated ... it's only then that we're going to be truly safe from coronavirus."
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Jennifer Alden received the 10,000th jab from Bendigo Health.
Councillor Alden encouraged other community members to book in for vaccination.
"If we're gong to get on top of COVID-19 we really have to get vaccinated, that is the answer," Cr Alden said.
"If we want to resume our opening up of the community, the economy ... start our travels around the world, we're going to have to be vaccinated."
Health workers have reassured those over 50 that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for them to receive, and for anyone who has received their first dose.
Mr Cameron said Bendigo Health was in a strong position to meet increased demand, given improvements in the supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He said the Bendigo Health hub wanted people to register for vaccinations, but would also accept walk-ins.
More information about the Bendigo Health vaccine hub is available online.
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