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Government Under Fire To Ramp Up Vaccination Ad Campaign

Older Australians will be encouraged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 under a new media campaign Scott Morrison says will be launched in coming weeks.

The federal government is under fire for the slowness of the vaccine rollout, with a concerning degree of hesitancy in the community.

The Australian Medical Association wants a more effective national strategy to motivate people who are in no rush to get their shots.

AMA deputy president Chris Moy has warned Australians are sitting ducks until enough people are inoculated.

He wants to convince people to roll up their sleeves by promoting the benefits.

"At the moment, given we have no COVID and we are living in this really gilded cage, people do not perceive a risk," Dr Moy told ABC radio on Thursday.

"Seeing for example what is happening overseas where there is a tsunami of COVID and also the development of variants, we are sitting ducks until we get a significant proportion of the population vaccinated."

The prime minister said the government was spending $40 million on advertising, focusing on "those who are happy" to get vaccinated.

"We'll continue to have the conversation with the rest of the population about their concerns that they may have and the best place to have that discussion is with your GP," he told reporters in Melbourne.

"There is more communications going into the elderly population and you'll see that roll out in the weeks ahead."

Mr Morrison zeroed in on concerns about the AstraZeneca jab saying it had been safely administered to his wife, mother, mother-in-law, the health minister and health department secretary.

"This is a safe vaccine."

Earlier he told 3AW radio there was no point in targeting messages to younger people because they could not currently get vaccinated.

Published polling suggests one in three Australian adults are unlikely to seek out a vaccine.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there was strong interest in her state for vaccination bookings and plenty of incentive to build herd immunity.

"The biggest incentive is a more normal life," she said.

Mr Morrison said he would talk to the state and territory leaders about the idea of a "passport" to allow easier travel across borders for those who are vaccinated.

"It's a practical proposal and I look forward to discussing it further with premiers and chief ministers."

The prime minister said there was "no hard and fast rule" on what would constitute herd immunity, but noted some countries put the figure at 60 per cent of their population.

Mr Morrison met with disabilities minister Linda Reynolds on Wednesday to discuss the rollout in disability residential care, which was criticised as an "abject failure" at a royal commission hearing this week.

The inquiry was told only 999 disability care residents and more than 1500 workers had received their jabs, despite being in the first phase of the rollout, out of an estimated 23,000 people.

The prime minister said part of the problem was some people in care had received their shot but it was not tallied in the overall figures.