The state government has thrown open the doors at all of its COVID-19 vaccination centres to every Victorian aged over 50, as part of a mammoth, nationwide inoculation effort.
Health authorities have been pleading with people eligible for the vaccine to roll up their sleeves for the jab, with COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar last week revealing the state was delivering only a fraction of the vaccine it was capable of, despite six mass vaccination hubs open to the public.
The mass vaccination centre at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui
Health Minister Martin Foley on Sunday announced 22 state-run vaccination sites will be open to the eligible public from Monday.
“The best thing we can do to support Victoria’s recovery from COVID-19 is to take the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as we are can,” Mr Foley said.
“We’re proud to work with GPs to support the Commonwealth’s vaccination program in the only way we can.”
People aged over 50 are being vaccinated sooner to speed up the delayed vaccine program, which was dealt a significant blow after the country’s top immunisation experts recommended the AstraZeneca jab not be given to people aged under 50 because of a rare but serious blood clotting condition.
Outbreaks at hotel quarantine in Perth, and the catastrophic coronavirus situation unfolding in India, has highlighted the need for a sense of urgency to get the population vaccinated, Mr Weimar said last week in pleading with people to get immunised.
“I appreciate that we’re incredibly fortunate here in Victoria and in Australia that we’re not living with what feels like the daily threat of COVID,” he said.
“But what the case from Perth highlights to us is that it’s never that far away. And if we’re going to move beyond this pandemic, we really need to … get vaccinated as soon as we can.”
Despite a recent case of coronavirus in a hotel security guard, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said on Sunday that there would be no fresh lockdown in Perth. Nightclubs will be shut and Sunday afternoon’s AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle will be held behind closed doors.
From Monday, everyone aged over 50, in addition to people in phase 1a and 1b, will be able to make an appointment to receive a vaccine at these sites:
- Bendigo Hospital
- Latrobe Regional Hospital – Traralgon Racecourse
- Albury Wodonga Health – Wodonga Community vaccination clinic
- GV Health – Shepparton Showgrounds, McIntosh Centre
- Eastern Health – Box Hill
- Eastern Health – Ringwood East Community Clinic
- Northern Health – Epping
- Monash Health – Monash Medical Centre
- Monash Health – Dandenong
- Monash Health – Kingston
- Monash Health – Moorabbin
- St John of God Hospital – Berwick
- Peninsula Health – Frankston
- Austin Health – Olivia Newton John Centre
The mass vaccination centres are at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the former Ford factory in Geelong, the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Mercure Ballarat. A new mass vaccination hub will open on Tuesday at Cranbourne Turf Club.
Phone bookings are encouraged at all the sites by calling 1800 675 398, and selecting option 3, option 2, option 2. For more information about the locations and vaccines, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine.
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