Hello and welcome to your latest Covid Vaccination Hub Bulletin.
It has been a busy time in the COVID Vaccination Hub, with the service expanding and a number of changes.
The Western COVID Vaccination Hub is the busiest in Victoria. We have now administered over 470,000 vaccines to the community, and with the opening of our additional sites and additional cubicles we are just getting busier. Last Friday saw a new record for the total number of people vaccinated in a single day – 7,456!
Further to the opening of Australia’s first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination centre in Melton, we opened a new high volume sit-down vaccination centre at the same site last week.
In addition, the Vaccination Hub at Mercy Werribee Hospital recommenced and the recently opened Wyndham Vaccination Hub is open 7 days per week over the lock down period and has expanded its capacity.
We are in the final stages of planning for the opening of our next drive-thru vaccination centre in Wyndham, which will open over the coming weeks.
Healthcare worker vaccination:
A reminder that the Pfizer vaccine is available for first dose for all health care workers irrespective of age. Please also ensure you have your second dose of vaccine. You are not optimally protected against COVID-19 without 2 doses. Call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 to book your appointment or book via the online booking portal.
Also a reminder that all state run vaccination centres are now administering the second dose of Pfizer vaccine at least six weeks after the first dose. People who already have their second Pfizer dose appointment booked, can attend their appointment as planned. This has been implemented to allow more people to receive their first dose given the current Melbourne outbreak.
Changes to eligibility:
There have been recent significant updates to eligibility for COVID vaccination, including from today all State vaccination centres expanding access to the AstraZeneca vaccine to all individuals aged 18 to 39 years who provide informed consent. Read more below.
Additional bookings, but no walk-ins:
Additional bookings have been released into the system to accommodate the additional access to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the expanded facilities and Victoria’s ‘One Million Appointments‘ campaign. Unfortunately at the moment we are no longer accepting walk-ins for any vaccination due to the number of exposure sites in the West, to decrease queuing and promote social distancing as much as possible.
Moderna Vaccine approved:
The Moderna Australia’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine called Spikevax (elasomeran) has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) for people 18 and over. Read more below.
Executive Director Nursing & Midwifery
Changes to Vaccine Eligibility
There has been recent significant updates to eligibility for COVID vaccination, including:
- From today (Monday 16 August) all State vaccination centres have expanded access to the AstraZeneca vaccine for all individuals aged 18 to 39 years who provide informed consent.
- People with a specified medical condition or people with a significant disability can access reserved first dose Pfizer appointments.
Women who are breastfeeding can receive either Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines:
- People who are currently eligible can receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
- People aged 18-39 who are otherwise not eligible can choose to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
- Women who are breastfeeding are not eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on this basis.
The Australian Government will this week send out notifications reminding people they are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Notifications will be sent to those who registered their interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and will direct them to the Eligibility Checker to find a clinic near them. Please note that people who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine will also receive a notification, so if you have already been vaccinated please disregard this reminder.
Vaccination Bookings are to be made via the online portal or call centre on 1800 675 398.
Moderna Vaccine Approved
The Moderna Australia’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine called Spikevax (elasomeran) has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) for people 18 and over.
It is recommended that the vaccine is given in two doses that are administered 28 days apart. The Commonwealth Government is planning for this new vaccine to be administered predominately via pharmacies, so it is not planned at this stage to be administered via Western Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hub.
Data to support the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 17 years is currently under evaluation and no specific concerns have been identified to date. It is expected that the TGA’s decision on use in this age group will be announced in 3-4 weeks’ time. Read the TGA announcement.