AstraZeneca is now ‘available through the cracks for everyone, everywhere’

In order to reach an 80 per cent vaccination rate and reopen the state, health authorities are aiming to vaccinate 200,000 people a week until September 19.

ACCESS to AstraZeneca has been expanded again for the 18 to 39-year-old age group at all state vaccination centres, with the aim of administering one million doses in the next five weeks.
Health authorities are aiming to administer more than 200,000 doses each week until September 19, with sites operating with extended hours and with an additional 150 vaccination booths rolling out, and mo0re than 280,000 appointments available each week.
In the 24 hours following the announcement, more than 68,000 Victorians booked in to get vaccinated at state-run vaccination hubs.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there were a million things that Victorians missed about life before the pandemic – “and each of those is a reason to get vaccinated”.
“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,” he said on Friday.
“Getting to 70 per cent, getting to 80 per cent, that’s what we have to work towards, and these one million jabs over the next five weeks are the best way Victorians can make a contribution, not just to our state’s fortunes, but indeed to that national strategy and to the position right across our country.”
National Cabinet’s four-step national plan to transition Australia from suppression measures to a management of COVID-19 consistent with other infectious diseases requires 70 per cent of the population to be fully vaccinated to transition to fewer restrictions and border caps, and 80 per cent for a more normalised life.
Mr Andrews described one million as “a significant undertaking” but he said he was confident Victorians could exceed the target, adding AstraZeneca was available for everybody, everywhere throughout the next five weeks.
“Some of the hesitancy that people talk about, I think a lot of it is talk,” he said.
“I think that particularly younger people are very keen to get the best vaccine they can, and the best vaccine they can get, as the Chief Health Officer reminds us, is the one that’s available today.
“The response since Sunday when we made those announcements and expanded availability for 18-year-olds plus, for those people in their 20s and 30s, has been very, very strong.
“To have more than 10,000 people through the program already when it’s only been in nine sites says to us that there’s very strong demand.”
Mr Andrews said the health authorities weren’t seeing the same level of interest from people in their 50s and 60s.
“Consult with your GP or make an appointment and talk to the experienced health professional — whether it be a pharmacist, a very senior nurse or a doctor — at one of our state clinics, and if it’s safe for you, if it’s the best choice for you, then you’ll be making a really important contribution to your own safety and that of the people you love the most, but also in a collective sense, you’ll be making a powerful contribution on behalf of all of us,” Mr Andrews said.
The Premier said the state government’s aim was to be at 60 per cent vaccinated by the end of September.
“The quicker we get to 70 per cent will mean the quicker we get to 80, and then we’re in a different world, where hopefully lockdowns are not part of everyday living, where we still have the virus to deal with, particularly among those who do not have the jab, but it will be a very different world,” he said.
“If you want to participate fully in hopefully a much, much better 2022, then being vaccinated is a very important part of that.”
AstraZeneca currently accounts for just over a quarter of all doses administered at Victorian vaccination centres.
There are more than 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments available now and more will become available.
Those with questions or concerns should talk to a GP, pharmacist or to a senior and experienced immuniser at a state-run site.
People should book vaccinations by visiting portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by phoning the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
For more information about Victoria’s vaccination centres, including locations and opening hours, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.
For more information about the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit health.vic.gov.au
For more information, phone the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.