By Jed Lanyon
The Victorian Government is expanding access to the AstraZeneca vaccine for younger age groups across all state vaccination centres, and capacity is being scaled up across the state-run system with more drive through and mobile clinics.
The aim is to administer 1 million doses in the next five weeks.
More than 200,000 doses will be administered each week between August 16 and September 19, with sites operating with extended hours and with an additional 150 vaccination booths coming online.
“Victorians have shown us that they are ready and willing to come forward and get vaccinated, with over 98,000 doses administered in our state-run system since Monday and more than 10,000 more doses of AstraZeneca than the week before,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
To further meet the increased demand from Victorians coming forward to be vaccinated, new and convenient drive through sites will be added in Wyndham, Melbourne’s south east and in the Hume/Whittlesea area.
These sites are being established in partnership with community, local government and industry groups. More details on the site locations will be provided soon, according to the state government.
This comes as recent data saw Melbourne’s outer east lag behind other Victorian regions when it comes to vaccination numbers.
The figures, released on 2 August by the Federal Department of Health, show 43.9 per cent of people aged over 15 in the outer east have received their first dose of the vaccine, while 18.3 per cent of those aged 15-plus are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the outer east.
Out of the 17 different Victorian regions listed, the outer east ranked 12th in the first dose category and 13th for those who are fully vaccinated.
In comparison, areas such as Bendigo and Geelong boast first dose vaccination rates of over 50 per cent and have over 25 per cent of residents fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health.
To help reach the target, a new campaign has been launched encouraging Victorians to get vaccinated quickly – to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the entire community.
Initially running across print and digital platforms, the campaign will expand to television and target different age groups as we move through the rollout.
There are over 200,000 Covid-19 vaccine appointments available now and more will become available. If you have any questions or concerns you can talk to a GP, pharmacist or to a senior and experienced immuniser at our state run sites. The best vaccine you can get, is the one that you can get now.
Increasing vaccination coverage in Victoria is particularly important given the current coronavirus outbreaks and the potential for further interstate incursions this year.
All Victorians are encouraged where possible to book their vaccination appointment by visiting portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by phoning the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
For more information on Victoria’s vaccination centres, including locations and opening hours, visit: coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.
For more information on the Commonwealth’s Covid-19 vaccination program, visit: health.vic.gov.au.