Shepparton News

More choice for all

MORE VACCINES AVAILABLE TO MORE RESIDENTS AT STATE VACCINATIO­N HUBS

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Victoria’s COVID-19 vaccinatio­n rollout is expected to be further accelerate­d by opening up mRNA vaccines to those aged over 60, including Pfizer and Moderna, at all of the state’s vaccinatio­n hubs.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said there was now enough vaccine supply in Victoria to open up all brands to all ages that are eligible for vaccinatio­n.

‘‘This change, which is now in effect, has been made possible by the relative certainty we now have for both Moderna and Pfizer, and the extraordin­ary number of young people who have come forward over the past three-anda-half weeks,’’ he said.

Previously people over 60 were only able to receive the AstraZenec­a vaccine at state hubs.

As of Sunday, 86 per cent of Victorians over 16 had received their first vaccine, including 93 per cent of people over 50.

‘‘Victoria is well on the way to becoming one of the most vaccinated jurisdicti­ons in the world,’’ Mr Foley said.

Victorian Health Department official Naomi Bromley said the state had passed the first dose rates of the United States, Israel, Germany and Switzerlan­d.

‘‘We know once a Victorian comes forward for their first dose, they are very very likely to come forward for their second dose; we have very high second dose compliance,’’ she said.

‘‘The job isn’t done yet, if you have not had your first dose then come forward now.’’

Victoria announced another 1612 COVID-19 cases and eight deaths on Monday and there are now 19,000 active cases across the state.

The number of people in hospital continues to rise, with 677 patients including 133 in intensive care, 94 of whom are on a ventilator.

Regional Victoria added 122 new cases, with 36 of those in Mildura, which is under lockdown.

Shepparton recorded another 15 cases.

All government hubs including the McIntosh Centre will now be open for walk-in vaccinatio­ns for Moderna and Pfizer after the government extended the arrangemen­t based on greater availabili­ty.

‘‘It is time to throw open the doors of all our clinics to the mRNA vaccines,’’ Mr Foley said.

‘‘You can now walk up to any of our major vaccinatio­n centres for any of the mRNA vaccines.’’

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