MELBOURNE, Aug 8: To get Victorians vaccinated faster, anyone aged 18 to 39 years old who provides informed consent will now be able to get vaccinated at Victorian’s State-run Vaccination Centres from Monday.
The expanded access to AstraZeneca follows recent advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and will ensure more Victorians who want the vaccine, have easy access to it.
AstraZeneca is a safe and effective vaccine. ATAGI has advised two doses of Astra Zeneca reduces the risk of symptomatic infection by at least 67 per cent and the risk of hospitalisation by 92 per cent.
The Delta strain has seen tragic deaths in New South Wales from people of all different ages, including tragically a person in their 20s.
Increasing our vaccination coverage in Victoria is particularly important given the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks and the potential for further interstate incursions this year.
The expanded eligibility will apply at multiple Victorian vaccination centres, including:
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
- Melbourne Showgrounds
- Sandown Racecourse
- Bayside Shopping Centre, Frankston
- Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre, South Morang
- Former Ford Factory, Geelong
- Kilmore District Health (Outpatients Building)
- Mansfield District Hospital (Anderson Hall)
The AstraZeneca vaccine will still be available to 18 to 39-year-olds at participating GPs, respiratory clinics and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations as well.
From Monday children aged 12 to 15 with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms will become eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at state-run clinics.
The expanded eligibility comes as the Victorian Government continues to scale up its network of vaccination clinics, with Australia’s first drive-through vaccination hub operated by Western Health to also open on Monday.
This innovative model is located at a former Bunnings Warehouse site in Melton (149 Barries Road) in Melbourne’s west that has been made available to the Victorian Government by Bunnings Australia. It will complement existing state vaccination centres and general practices that are participating in the Commonwealth vaccination program.
Careful planning has been undertaken to account for the logistical differences between walk-in and drive-through clinics and follows detailed advice from ATAGI at the request of the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce.
Drivers and passengers will be screened for eligibility and symptoms at the carpark entry before proceeding, in batches of ten cars, to an identification check-in point. They will be instructed to park before receiving their vaccination and will remain in their car for the 15-minute observation period before exiting the site.
Victorian health services have been leading the way on vaccinations, administering more vaccines than health services in any other state or territory. AstraZeneca currently accounts for around a quarter of all doses administered at Victorian state-run vaccination centres.
People choosing to provide informed consent will be required to sign a document showing they are aware of the extremely rare but serious risks associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including the risk of thrombosis thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
Appointments for the Melton drive-through vaccination site can be made at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/book-your-vaccine-appointment or the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
Detailed weekly COVID-19 vaccine data is now available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/weekly-covid-19-vaccine-data.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Given the current outbreak in Victoria, and recent advice from ATAGI, we’re expanding access to the vaccines we have available so Victorians can get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.
“More than 1.7 million vaccine doses have been administered at Victorian vaccination centres and we want to see that number continue to climb – vaccination is our only way out of this pandemic.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley
“We have more than 50 state-run vaccination clinics operating across Victoria and we hope drive-through sites will add a new level of convenience so more Victorians can have safe and easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”