Second dose wait reduced
The interval between doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been halved to six weeks in Victoria, in a drive to ramp up inoculation rates and curb virus transmission.
With thousands of Greater Shepparton residents expected to be released from quarantine over the next few days GV Health chief executive Matt Sharp urged people to book a vaccination.
More than 1000 vaccinations were delivered at the GV Health hub at the McIntosh Centre yesterday, but Mr Sharp said the overall vaccination numbers were lower than he would like them to be in Greater Shepparton.
Based on the latest data, Buloke Shire in north-west Victoria has nearly half its population fully vaccinated.
Acting chief health officer Ben Cowie announced the change on a day when Victoria recorded its highest number of new cases since August last year.
Professor Cowie said reducing the time limit was a decision made on balance given the rising case numbers, and that people who had already had one dose of AstraZeneca could now come earlier for a second dose.
‘‘If you’re sitting at seven weeks, eight weeks, nine weeks (between doses), go and get your double dose now,’’ he said.
Prof Cowie said the change, effective immediately, as well as additional supplies of the Pfizer vaccine from the Federal Government, would help the state reach its immunisation targets faster.
The wait time between AstraZeneca doses is now the same as for Pfizer. The Australian advisory group on vaccinations recommended a shorter interval of four to eight weeks between AstraZeneca doses in outbreak settings.