Victoria opens Pfizer vaccine eligibility as state records 50 new local COVID-19 cases

Premier Daniel Andrews says some 830,000 vaccine bookings will open on Wednesday morning for those aged from 16 to 39, of which 450,000 will be for the Pfizer vaccine.

Health workers perform temperature checks at a drive-through COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in the suburb of Campbellfield, Melbourne, Monday, August 23, 2021. Victoria has recorded 71 new locally-acquired coronavirus cases, of which 49 are linked to known o

Health workers perform temperature checks at a drive-through COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in the suburb of Campbellfield, Melbourne. Source: AAP

Every Victorian aged 16 and above will be able to book to get a COVID-19 vaccine from Wednesday, as the state records 50 new locally acquired infections.

Premier Daniel Andrews says some 830,000 bookings will open at 7am on Wednesday 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 on Wednesday.

"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 AstraZeneca.

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 are 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.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.
Source: AAP

Goulburn Valley Health on Tuesday says 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 3500 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 on Tuesday.

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 Wednesday.

Meanwhile, new rules around childcare and authorised workers came into effect overnight. Only authorised workers can access childcare, kindergarten and early childhood services, with workforce permits required to leave home for work.

Workforce caps apply across several industries including construction, abattoirs, meat, poultry and seafood processing.

In the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, 48,424 tests were processed and 29,810 Victorians received a vaccine dose at a state-run hub.

A full list of exposure sites is available here.

Victoria Police has also confirmed 56 fines of $5,452 each have been issued to adults at an illegal engagement party held earlier this month at Caulfield North. Children at the party were not fined.

SBS is providing live translations of daily New South Wales and Victoria COVID-19 press conferences in various languages. Click here for more information.

Published 24 August 2021 at 8:38am, updated 24 August 2021 at 12:48pm
Source: AAP - SBS