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Aged 16 and up can now get vax in Victoria

Younger Australia can now get vax in Vic
Photo: Victorians aged 16 and up can now get vax
Victorians aged 16 and above will be able to book in a COVID-19 jab at one of the state's vaccination hubs.

Every Victorian aged 16 and above will be able to book to get a COVID-19 vaccine from Wednesday, as the state works to bring its outbreak of the Delta variant under control.

People aged 16 to 39 will be able to book to receive the Pfizer jab at one of the state's 55 hubs from 7am on Wednesday.

Premier Daniel Andrews said over the next four weeks, more than 830,000 appointments will be available, including 450,000 first dose appointments 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 said those aged 16 and 17 would only be eligible for Pfizer, while those aged 18 to 39 could choose between Pfizer or AstraZeneca. Those aged 60 and over will continue to receive AstraZeneca.

The expansion is possible because of an additional 175,000 Pfizer doses from the Commonwealth government, imported from Poland.

Mr Andrews said he was confident it would help Victoria reach the vaccination target of 80 per cent of the eligible population, sooner.

According to an analysis of current vaccination rates by COVID Live, it will take Victoria until November 16 to reach that target.

Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien said senior high school students should be given priority access.

"This is the end of what has been two tough years for those VCE students, and they need to try and finish it off in the right way," he told reporters.

"Senior students and teachers should be prioritised for vaccination because that is key to getting our schools reopened and getting students back into the classroom."

Victoria recorded 50 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, of which 39 were infectious in the community.

Contact tracers have linked 40 of the cases to known outbreaks and while they are confident the remaining 10 cases will be linked, they are still investigating their source.

It brings the total number of active cases in Victoria to 522.

Seven of the new infections live in Shepparton, about 180 kilometres north of Melbourne, bringing the total outbreak there to 44 cases.

Genomic testing has linked that cluster to an earlier outbreak in the Melbourne suburb of Glenroy.

A further five new cases have also been confirmed in the same household of a previously announced COVID-positive resident from Lara near Geelong, Barwon Health confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Melbourne has spent 19 days under strict stay-at-home orders, with regional Victoria following suit on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Andrews said it was still too soon to say if the lockdown would be lifted as planned on September 2.

Meanwhile, police issued fines totalling $305,312 to the hosts and guests of an illegal engagement party held earlier this month at Caulfield North.

Victoria Police on Tuesday confirmed they had completed their investigation into the event, fining 56 fines adults $5452 each. Children at the party were not fined.

Full list of exposure sites available at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites

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