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COVID-19 newsflash #38: COVID-19 vaccination rollout update

Below are COVID-19 vaccine rollout highlights from the Victorian and Australian Governments.

Victorian Government updates

As of 28 April 2021, Victoria’s hospital immunisation hubs had administered 198,228 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in support of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program. View the Victorian Government’s vaccination data dashboard.

More high-volume vaccination centres have opened to provide vaccines to all eligible Victorians.

  • Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and Sunshine Hospital opened to the public on 23 April 2021.
  • Mercure Ballarat opened to the public on 26 April 2021.

More sites will be announced in the coming weeks.

In total, Victoria has six high-volume centres for people aged 70 and over and people in Phase 1a and Phase 1b. More details.

High-volume centres provide more options for people in these population groups to get vaccinated. People over 70 and those in Phase 1b with pre-existing medical conditions can choose to and are encouraged to get vaccinated by their local GP.

People can find the latest opening hours and wait times available on the high-volume vaccination centres’ webpage.

Eligible individuals (including people aged 50 years and over) can book an appointment at high volume vaccination centres and other state vaccination clinics by calling the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 – then select Option 3 – Option 2 – Option 2.

From 27 April 2021, where capacity and vaccine supply permits, state vaccination clinics and high-volume vaccination centres may accept walk ins.

Australian Government updates

As of 26 April 2021, a total 1,969,337 vaccines have been administered, with 32,037 in the last 24 hours. View the Federal Government’s national and aged care vaccination data.

It remains the responsibility of the Australian Government to facilitate vaccination of employees of private aged care facilities. ANMF has called on the Australian Government to provide the necessary supplies of COVID vaccine to the Victorian Government to ensure that our members in aged care have timely access to the vaccine. Instead, the Australian Government appears intent on creating new clinics, there is currently no proposed date for the opening of any clinic in Victoria.

Members aged over 50 can access the AstraZeneca vaccine at Victorian Hubs or via GP clinics. ANMF recognises the difficulties faced by members under 50 seeking to access the limited supplies of Pfizer vaccine. The supply of vaccines is an Australian Government responsibility.

National Cabinet met on 22 April 2021 to discuss the Australian Government’s vaccination program. The latest announcements include:

  • From May 2021, all people aged 50 years and over will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Pfizer vaccine will be restricted to people under 50 years old in Phase 1a and 1b.
  • The Pfizer vaccine will also be prioritised to those in residential aged care facilities and disability care, in remote and very remote locations, and for quarantine and essential front-line workers working in those areas.
  • Phase 2a to start with vaccinations for people aged 50 years and over in May 2021.

People aged 50 years and over will be able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at:

  • general practice respiratory clinics and state vaccination clinics (including high-volume vaccination centres) from 3 May 2021.
  • a participating general practice (GP) from 17 May 2021.

This newsflash is correct and advice to the contrary from the Commonwealth Government on 27 April 2021 should be disregarded.

Which vaccine will people receive?

The Australian Government will prioritise the Pfizer vaccine for people under 50 years of age across all phases and  the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 50 years and over.

People aged 50 years and over will only be eligible for Pfizer vaccine if they:

  • have had a first dose of Pfizer vaccine
  • have a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), thrombosis with thrombocytopaenia syndrome (TTS) and other situations where it is medically indicated
  • have had anaphylaxis after a previous dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
  • have had anaphylaxis to polysorbate 80 (a component of AstraZeneca vaccine)

People with these indications will be referred to the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services (VicSIS) network for further review.

Resources and helpful links to information 

Victorian Government

Australian Government

Current restrictions

Current COVIDsafe settings in Victoria as of 11.59pm April 2021

ANMF Job Reps and Health and Safety Reps are encouraged to display this newsflash on their workplace noticeboard.