Free Coronavirus vaccines underway in Victoria

By Our Reporter
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Photo by Steven Cornfield

Coronavirus vaccines have begun being rolled out across Victoria with Victorians most at risk of exposure the first to be vaccinated.

Minister for Health Martin Foley on Monday 22 February visited Austin Hospital to mark day one of the Victorian rollout of the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program and thank health workers who are continuing to keep our state safe.

Victorians with the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 are being prioritised for the vaccine, including Hotel Quarantine and Health Hotel workers, airport and port workers, and frontline health staff in COVID-19 screening clinics, specialist COVID-19 wards, Intensive Care Units, Emergency Departments, and more, an official press release said.

The vaccines are being administered through hospital vaccination hubs managed by public health services. Hubs also manage several special outreach sites including at Melbourne Airport and the Port of Portland.

Among the first to be vaccinated are Grace Gibney, Associate Nurse Unit Manager at the Austin Hospital’s COVID-19 screening clinic, and Chris Quinn, a registered mental health nurse working in Hotel Quarantine.

All nine hospital vaccination hubs will commence operations over the coming weeks.

Hubs will also deliver the vaccine to public sector residential aged care patients and workers, with the Commonwealth responsible for providing the vaccine to the private sector aged care and disability sectors.

Barwon Health in regional Victoria will commence its public sector residential aged care program this week, trialling an outreach model to be implemented across regional Victoria.

The Victorian Government is working closely with the Commonwealth on the rollout of its vaccination program.

The Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive approval for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It meets high safety, efficacy and quality standards. Two doses of the vaccine will be provided at least three weeks apart. The vaccine must be stored and transported at -70°C.

Professor Ben Cowie, Senior Medical Advisor for the COVID-19 vaccination program, said “This vaccine is safe, effective and free—and it will help us protect everyone in the community, starting with those at highest risk.”


For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines or coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

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