Victoria pop-ups to boost disability vaccinations

October 7, 2021 BY

More than 71 per cent of Victorian NDIS participants aged 16 and over have received their first dose as of September 30. Photo: SUPPLIED

VICTORIA will establish 10 dedicated COVID-19 vaccination pop-up hubs in hotspots to boost coverage among people with disabilities.

The state government has pledged $5 million to launch the pop-ups across October, which will allow disabled residents to come forward to get the jab without a booking.

Ageing and Disability Minister Luke Donnellan said more than 71 per cent of Victorian NDIS participants aged 16 and over had received their first dose as of September 30.┬áThat compares to 84.4 per cent of the state’s general population.

“We need to keep pushing,” Mr Donnellan told reporters today (Thursday, October 7).

“It’s just not acceptable where it is at the moment. We can’t open up when we’ve got people living with disabilities, with vulnerabilities, if they’re not at a higher rate of vaccinations.”

It comes after Victoria confirmed 1,638 new local cases and two deaths on Thursday, taking the toll from the existing outbreak to 70.

It is also the second-highest daily case tally of the state’s third wave and has pushed active infections past 15,000.

More than 77,000 Victorians were tested for the virus in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, while 36,672 vaccinations were administered at state-run sites.

Meanwhile, a Melbourne principal says he will contest a suspension after inviting students to attend school during lockdown.

More than 30 coronavirus cases were linked to an outbreak at Fitzroy Community School last month, which spread to students, teachers and household contacts.

Principal Timothy Berryman was handed an interim suspension by the Victorian Institute of Teaching, pending an investigation. The suspension came into effect yesterday (Wednesday, October 6).

VIT has the power to suspend a teacher’s registration if it forms the view “the teacher poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children” or it is “necessary to protect children”.

Mr Berryman described the suspension as frustrating and claimed school closures represented a “much greater risk” to children’s wellbeing than the impacts of catching COVID-19.

“It’s very odd that I’ve been portrayed as the bad guy when I’ve been trying to look after the children as good as possible,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne today.

He plans to fight the interim suspension.