Victoria to open up COVID-19 vaccines to all aged above 16
EVERY Victorian aged 16 and above will be able to book to get a COVID-19 vaccine from tomorrow (Wednesday, August 25) as the state records 50 new locally acquired infections.
Premier Daniel Andrews says some 830,000 bookings will open at 7am tomorrow for those aged from 16 to 39, of which 450,000 will be for the Pfizer vaccine.
“This is a very significant announcement. I just ask people to be patient,” he told reporters today (Tuesday, August 24).
“There isn’t, at this stage, enough for every single person who will want to come forward and make a booking, but if we can get these appointments out the door, if we can get these jabs into arms over the next four weeks we will achieve our target of one million (doses).”
Mr Andrews says Victorians aged 16 and 17 will be offered the Pfizer vaccine, while those aged between 18 and 39 will be able to get either Pfizer or Astra Zeneca.
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said 40 of the new cases were linked to known outbreaks, while the source of the remaining 10 infections were under investigation.
Authorities believe four of the mystery cases are associated with an outbreak in the Altona North and Wyndham area, three with the Carlton and Fitzroy area, two in Thomastown and one in Southbank.
Thirty-nine cases were infectious in the community.
The new infections bring the total number of active cases in the state to 522, of which 113 are children aged under nine. There’s 193 cases in people aged between 10 and 29.
Seven of the new infections live in Shepparton, about 180 kilometres north of Melbourne, bringing the outbreak to 44 cases.
Mr Weimar confirmed the Shepparton cluster is genomically linked to an earlier outbreak in Melbourne’s Glenory.
One in 10 people living in the Shepparton area have been forced into self-isolation after visiting exposures sites, which include several schools.
Goulburn Valley Health said today that more than 17,000 people require COVID-19 testing, a figure they anticipate will increase as more exposure sites are added, but daily capacity is in the order of 3,500 tests.
They are asking only those with COVID-19 symptoms and those in priority groups who have received direct communication from authorities to come forward for testing today.
People who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have been to an exposure site should remain in quarantine and present for testing from lunchtime tomorrow.
Meanwhile, police have issued fines totalling $305,312 to the hosts and guests of an illegal engagement party held earlier this month at Caulfield North.
Victoria Police today confirmed they had completed their investigation into the event, fining 56 fines adults $5452 each. Children at the party were not fined.
After revealing yesterday (Monday, August 23) that officers were investigating reports hundreds of people including some from NSW went to a funeral in Shepparton, police today said no breach of COVID-19 restrictions was found.
For a full list of exposure sites, head to coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites