Victorians over the age of 18 will now be eligible to get their vital third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after the third dose interval was reduced to three months today, just in time for a walk-up vaccination blitz starting this Friday.
The reduced timeframe of three months, recommended by Victoria’s public health team, means 1.2 million more Victorians can now increase their immunity before school and work returns in full.
Similarly in NSW, Premier Domini Perrottet announced the change of reducing the third dose interval from four to three months.
“We have the capacity for 250,000 vaccines every week in those hubs. Today’s decision will enable over 3.5 million more people from our state to be eligible for that booster shot,” Premier Perrottet told reporters.
“As we are clearly seeing, boosters are key to keeping yourself, your friends and your family safe. We have the capacity available. We’ve seen in our intensive cares the difference vaccination makes.”
In Victoria, to support an anticipated increase in demand this weekend, more workers, more cubicles, more walk-up capacity and 60,000 more appointments will be available at key vaccination centres.
Hours at major hubs including Sandown, Bendigo and La Trobe University have all been extended specifically for the blitz, which will run from this Friday to next Monday, with key clinics also offering free ice creams in collaboration with Unilever.
“This is a big push. Thousands of appointments are available, walk-in capacity has been expanded, opening hours have been extended, and more vaccinators will be on the floor” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Walk-up vaccinations will be available and are encouraged at a number of state-run centres, including:
- Royal Exhibition Building (walk-up access available 8:00am to 8:00pm daily during the blitz)
- Latrobe University Bundoora (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm)
- Sandown Racecourse (walk-up 9:00am to 6:30pm Saturday and Sunday)
- Dandenong Plaza (walk-up 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday)
- Frankston’s Bayside Centre (walk-up 9:30am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday)
- Sunshine Hospital (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm)
- Bendigo Vaccination Hub (walk-up 9:00am to 8:00pm)
- Ballarat Mercure (walk-up 8:30am to 3:00pm Sunday)
The effort will be supported by extra cubicles and the deployment of dozens of extra vaccinators. Hot weather contingencies are in effect, including shade and bottled water supply at key sites.
The rest of Victoria’s large state-run network will also be operating, with thousands of appointments available. All sites except Dandenong Plaza and Ballarat Mercure will also offer both Pfizer and Moderna doses.
The Victorian Government is also continuing its close partnership with primary care. Thanks to additional supply and support, the Inner North Medical Clinic and Altona North Medical Clinic will be providing almost 6,000 extra vaccination appointments between them over the four-day blitz.
“If you got your second dose in October or earlier, now’s the time to come along to one of our major state-run centres this weekend and get your third, to protect yourself and the community for the busy year ahead” Premier Daniel Andrews added.
Victoria has already delivered more than $3 million in Vaccine Enhancement Grants to 263 GPs and pharmacies across the state, with 106 of those participants also receiving additional grants worth $10,000 each to support more staff resources this weekend.
Now that the third dose interval has been reduced to three months, those who want to get their third dose at a local GPs or pharmacy can also book through the online clinic finder at covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/.
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