Following recent news that the Pfizer jab would be made available to all Aussies across the country over the age of 16 at the end of the month, Victoria has stepped up and become the first state to offer the vaccine to that age group.
From 7am this morning, Victorians aged 16 to 39 have been able to book the Pfizer vaccine and are so keen to get the jab that the booking website has already crashed twice.
VACCINE APPOINTMENTS just became available to 16-39yr olds — including 1st Pfizer — at state-run centres across Victoria. Went live at 7am! Book online or by phone. Get on it, team! #covid19vic
— Dr Sandro Demaio (@SandroDemaio) August 24, 2021
Victorians in the age bracket can book their vaccine appointment through the online portal here or through calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.
It’s welcome news as Victoria struggles to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant that has spilled over from the crisis in New South Wales. Victoria recorded 45 new locally acquired cases over the last 24-hour reporting period to midnight on Tuesday.
Victorians submitted for over 53,000 tests during the same period while 31,000 vaccines were administered.
State and federal governments around Australia have been ramping up the vaccination rollout as it looks likely that NSW won’t be able to bring the case numbers back to zero — at least, any faster than they can vaccinate its population.
Other states have joined the scramble for vaccination, with Premier Daniel Andrews announcing yesterday that all Victorian aged 16 and older would be eligible for the Pfizer jab.
Vaccines can be booked from state-run vaccination centres where an additional 830,000 first-dose vaccination appointments have been made available.
Half of these appointments are for Pfizer vaccines while the other half are AstraZeneca.
Within minutes of the Premier announcing the new changes, technical issues brought the site down as thousands logged on to try and book their appointment.
There have been 50,000 hits per minute on the Victorian government vaccination website this morning and more than 1.3 million calls to the coronavirus hotline.
— Benita Kolovos (@benitakolovos) August 25, 2021
There are currently 1.2 million Victorians in the 16-39 category who are yet to be vaccinated. Roughly 70% of those should be able to get the new appointments, although it’s likely that most will be preferencing Pfizer.
With so many eager to get to the jab, there are reports already of long queues at the walk-in vaccination hub at St Kilda.
Technical issues aside, it’s incredible stuff and inspiring to see so many young people lining up to get the jab. As vaccine numbers increase, we’ll soon be able to hit those 70 and 80% vaccination rates which will see life slowly return to normal as the coronavirus loses its grip on the country.
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