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Victoria Reduces Third Dose Interval Ahead Of Vax Blitz

Victorians over the age of 18 will now be eligible to get their vital third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after three months, just in time for a walk-up vaccination blitz starting this Friday. The reduced timeframe of three months, recommended by Victoria’s public health team, means 1.2 million more Victorians can now increase their immunity before school and work returns in full. To support an anticipated increase in demand this weekend, more workers, more cubicles, more walk-up capacity and 60,000 more appointments will be available at key vaccination centres. Hours at major hubs including Sandown, Bendigo and La Trobe University have all been extended specifically for the blitz, which will run from this Friday to next Monday, with key clinics also offering free ice creams in collaboration with Unilever. Walk-up vaccinations will be available and are encouraged at a number of state-run centres, including: Royal Exhibition Building (walk-up access available 8:00am to 8:00pm daily during the blitz) Latrobe University Bundoora (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm) Sandown Racecourse (walk-up 9:00am to 6:30pm Saturday and Sunday) Dandenong Plaza (walk-up 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday) Frankston’s Bayside Centre (walk-up 9:30am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday) Sunshine Hospital (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm) Bendigo Vaccination Hub (walk-up 9:00am to 8:00pm) Ballarat Mercure (walk-up 8:30am to 3:00pm Sunday) The effort will be supported by extra cubicles and the deployment of dozens of extra vaccinators. Hot weather contingencies are in effect, including shade and bottled water supply at key sites. The rest of Victoria’s large state-run network will also be operating, with thousands of appointments available. All sites except Dandenong Plaza and Ballarat Mercure will also offer both Pfizer and Moderna doses. The Victorian Government is also continuing its close partnership with primary care. Thanks to additional supply and support, the Inner North Medical Clinic and Altona North Medical Clinic will be providing almost 6,000 extra vaccination appointments between them over the four-day blitz. Victoria has already delivered more than $3 million in Vaccine Enhancement Grants to 263 GPs and pharmacies across the state, with 106 of those participants also receiving additional grants worth $10,000 each to support more staff resources this weekend. Visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres for locations, hours and access information before walking up. Bookings can also be made online at portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 675 398. Those who want to get their third dose at a local GPs or pharmacy can also book through the online clinic finder at http://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “This is a big push. Thousands of appointments are available, walk-in capacity has been expanded, opening hours have been extended, and more vaccinators will be on the floor.” “If you got your second dose in October or earlier, now’s the time to come along to one of our major state-run centres this weekend and get your third, to protect yourself and the community for the busy year ahead.”

Victoria Reduces Third Dose Interval Ahead Of Vax Blitz

Victorians over the age of 18 will now be eligible to get their vital third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine after three months, just in time for a walk-up vaccination blitz starting this Friday. The reduced timeframe of three months, recommended by Victoria’s public health team, means 1.2 million more Victorians can now increase their immunity before school and work returns in full. To support an anticipated increase in demand this weekend, more workers, more cubicles, more walk-up capacity and 60,000 more appointments will be available at key vaccination centres. Hours at major hubs including Sandown, Bendigo and La Trobe University have all been extended specifically for the blitz, which will run from this Friday to next Monday, with key clinics also offering free ice creams in collaboration with Unilever. Walk-up vaccinations will be available and are encouraged at a number of state-run centres, including: Royal Exhibition Building (walk-up access available 8:00am to 8:00pm daily during the blitz) Latrobe University Bundoora (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm) Sandown Racecourse (walk-up 9:00am to 6:30pm Saturday and Sunday) Dandenong Plaza (walk-up 9:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and Sunday) Frankston’s Bayside Centre (walk-up 9:30am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday) Sunshine Hospital (walk-up 8:00am to 8:00pm) Bendigo Vaccination Hub (walk-up 9:00am to 8:00pm) Ballarat Mercure (walk-up 8:30am to 3:00pm Sunday) The effort will be supported by extra cubicles and the deployment of dozens of extra vaccinators. Hot weather contingencies are in effect, including shade and bottled water supply at key sites. The rest of Victoria’s large state-run network will also be operating, with thousands of appointments available. All sites except Dandenong Plaza and Ballarat Mercure will also offer both Pfizer and Moderna doses. The Victorian Government is also continuing its close partnership with primary care. Thanks to additional supply and support, the Inner North Medical Clinic and Altona North Medical Clinic will be providing almost 6,000 extra vaccination appointments between them over the four-day blitz. Victoria has already delivered more than $3 million in Vaccine Enhancement Grants to 263 GPs and pharmacies across the state, with 106 of those participants also receiving additional grants worth $10,000 each to support more staff resources this weekend. Visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres for locations, hours and access information before walking up. Bookings can also be made online at portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 675 398. Those who want to get their third dose at a local GPs or pharmacy can also book through the online clinic finder at http://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/booking/. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “This is a big push. Thousands of appointments are available, walk-in capacity has been expanded, opening hours have been extended, and more vaccinators will be on the floor.” “If you got your second dose in October or earlier, now’s the time to come along to one of our major state-run centres this weekend and get your third, to protect yourself and the community for the busy year ahead.”

IVF Procedures To Resume

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures suspended as part of the temporary changes to protect our hospitals will recommence, to help support Victorians who are wanting to start or grow their family. Some services will restart from today, with hospitals scaling up their operations to enable procedures to resume from 11.59pm on Tuesday, 25 January. The Chief Health Officer provided advice to the Acting Minister for Health that the restrictions on IVF procedures can be removed – as the specialist nature of the workforce and the facilities and equipment used are not imperative to support the pandemic response at this time. The Department of Health will work with the Royal Women’s Hospital to prioritise urgent patients - ensuring that the changes do not affect the COVID-19 response in that Hospital. While the IVF restrictions were in place, services were still available to those who needed to complete a treatment cycle they had started prior to 6 January 2022 or those who required future IVF procedure due to health treatment that would render their eggs non-viable. Further advice is being sought from the Health Response Centre about other services that may be able to be restored without a critical impact on our current hospital workforce capacity. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “IVF is a challenging journey for anyone to go through, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic, and we’re deeply sorry for the distress caused by affected services in recent weeks.” “We thank Victorians for their patience as we’ve worked through critical workforce issues, and we’ll keep working to have other services restored as soon as we can.”

IVF Procedures To Resume

Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures suspended as part of the temporary changes to protect our hospitals will recommence, to help support Victorians who are wanting to start or grow their family. Some services will restart from today, with hospitals scaling up their operations to enable procedures to resume from 11.59pm on Tuesday, 25 January. The Chief Health Officer provided advice to the Acting Minister for Health that the restrictions on IVF procedures can be removed – as the specialist nature of the workforce and the facilities and equipment used are not imperative to support the pandemic response at this time. The Department of Health will work with the Royal Women’s Hospital to prioritise urgent patients - ensuring that the changes do not affect the COVID-19 response in that Hospital. While the IVF restrictions were in place, services were still available to those who needed to complete a treatment cycle they had started prior to 6 January 2022 or those who required future IVF procedure due to health treatment that would render their eggs non-viable. Further advice is being sought from the Health Response Centre about other services that may be able to be restored without a critical impact on our current hospital workforce capacity. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “IVF is a challenging journey for anyone to go through, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic, and we’re deeply sorry for the distress caused by affected services in recent weeks.” “We thank Victorians for their patience as we’ve worked through critical workforce issues, and we’ll keep working to have other services restored as soon as we can.”

Boosting Vaccinations In Multicultural Communities

The Victorian Government is making it easier for Victorians from multicultural and multifaith backgrounds to get vaccinated, with targeted support to help them access vaccinations, get to appointments and combat misinformation. Acting Health Minister James Merlino today announced successful funding recipients of the Government’s $1.2 million Supporting Access to Vaccination for Priority Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities program, announced late last year as part of a package to ensure no Victorian is left behind as vaccinations are rolled out. Community organisation The Huddle – established by the North Melbourne Football Club to improve inclusion for young people from diverse backgrounds – will receive $150,000 to support the vaccination of people as young as five from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This funding will allow staff to work directly with community members and leaders to provide vaccine information and help get community members vaccinated – whether through help booking an appointment, arranging childcare or transport to vaccination hubs. In total, eight community organisations will deliver tailored, in-language support, engage Victorians online and at shopping centres, and coordinate pop-up vaccination hubs. Alongside The Huddle, other recipients include: Brimbank/Melton Community Support Group Dandenong/Casey/Cardinia Community Support Group Junubi Wyndham Community Support Group Himilo Community Connect Community Support Group Le Mana Pasifika Project Northern Community Support Group Komak Community Support Group Community organisations and neighbourhood houses are also encouraged to apply for up to $20,000 to help vulnerable Victorians overcome barriers to vaccination and tackle vaccine misinformation through the Local Community Access Grants Program. For more information, visit vic.gov.au/local-community-access-grants-program. These initiatives are part of a $21 million package to boost tailored support for Victorians who may face additional barriers to vaccination – including people living with disability, at-risk youth, seniors, culturally diverse and multi-faith communities, social housing residents and victim survivors of family violence. Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “Whether it’s arranging childcare or transport for people needing to get to appointments, this will help overcome the practical barriers that some Victorians face to getting vaccinated.” Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane “With the assistance of trusted community organisations, we’re helping Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities to get the tailored support and advice they need to get vaccinated.”

Boosting Vaccinations In Multicultural Communities

The Victorian Government is making it easier for Victorians from multicultural and multifaith backgrounds to get vaccinated, with targeted support to help them access vaccinations, get to appointments and combat misinformation. Acting Health Minister James Merlino today announced successful funding recipients of the Government’s $1.2 million Supporting Access to Vaccination for Priority Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities program, announced late last year as part of a package to ensure no Victorian is left behind as vaccinations are rolled out. Community organisation The Huddle – established by the North Melbourne Football Club to improve inclusion for young people from diverse backgrounds – will receive $150,000 to support the vaccination of people as young as five from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This funding will allow staff to work directly with community members and leaders to provide vaccine information and help get community members vaccinated – whether through help booking an appointment, arranging childcare or transport to vaccination hubs. In total, eight community organisations will deliver tailored, in-language support, engage Victorians online and at shopping centres, and coordinate pop-up vaccination hubs. Alongside The Huddle, other recipients include: Brimbank/Melton Community Support Group Dandenong/Casey/Cardinia Community Support Group Junubi Wyndham Community Support Group Himilo Community Connect Community Support Group Le Mana Pasifika Project Northern Community Support Group Komak Community Support Group Community organisations and neighbourhood houses are also encouraged to apply for up to $20,000 to help vulnerable Victorians overcome barriers to vaccination and tackle vaccine misinformation through the Local Community Access Grants Program. For more information, visit vic.gov.au/local-community-access-grants-program. These initiatives are part of a $21 million package to boost tailored support for Victorians who may face additional barriers to vaccination – including people living with disability, at-risk youth, seniors, culturally diverse and multi-faith communities, social housing residents and victim survivors of family violence. Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “Whether it’s arranging childcare or transport for people needing to get to appointments, this will help overcome the practical barriers that some Victorians face to getting vaccinated.” Quote attributable to Acting Minister for Multicultural Affairs Shaun Leane “With the assistance of trusted community organisations, we’re helping Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities to get the tailored support and advice they need to get vaccinated.”

A Safe And Sensible Return To Work For Essential Workers

With the number of COVID-19 close contacts continuing to grow, Victoria’s public health team will provide more essential workers with an exemption from close contact home isolation requirements to attend their workplace. From 11:59pm, Tuesday 18 January, workers in emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight will join workers in the food production sector as being eligible for the exemption. Under the conditions of the exemption, the worker may return to work if it is necessary for continuity of operations and if other options have been exhausted. The exemption will apply to attending work only, not any other settings. In order to be eligible, the worker must first notify the employer of their status as a contact, and critically, both parties must consent to the worker returning to the workplace. They are already required to be fully vaccinated. Strong measures will be required to reduce the risk of a contact attending work while infectious: The worker must undertake a daily Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for five days and return a negative result prior to attending work each day They must wear a face mask at all times, with exceptions in the case of eating or drinking, or safety reasons, and a P2/N95 respirator is preferred The worker cannot enter shared break areas and the employer must try and facilitate solo break time. The employer must also take reasonable steps to deploy the worker in areas where transmission risk is lower If at any time the worker develops symptoms or tests positive on a RAT, the exemption no longer applies – they are a case, must isolate for 7 days, and must notify others including their employer. The exemption order is identical to that granted by Victoria’s public health team for key food and beverage workers, and is designed to protect the state’s essential workforce during the continuing Omicron wave. This exemption also currently applies to hospital workers, disability workers, residential aged care facility workers, and ambulance workers, but the use of an N95 mask at the workplace is a requirement, not a preference. Close contacts, otherwise known as household and household-like contacts, are people who have spent more than four hours with a case inside a house, accommodation or care facility. The Department of Health has also updated its contact management guidelines to require workplaces to notify the Department when five cases have attended the work premises within seven days. Previously, workplaces were required to advise the Department and Worksafe of single cases. More information on the conditions of the exemption and applicable cohorts of workers will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/isolation-exemptions when they come into effect at 11:59pm, Tuesday 18 January. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “This is about helping Victorians keep food on the table, lights on in the house and staff on in our hospitals.” “It’s safe and sensible in the eyes of our public health team, but to further protect themselves and the community, workers will have to use a rapid antigen test every day and wear a mask at all times.” “The worker’s rights are protected, and they can’t be directed to work if they are a contact – the worker has to agree to come in, just as they have to agree to the various preventative measures that will reduce risks for others.”

A Safe And Sensible Return To Work For Essential Workers

With the number of COVID-19 close contacts continuing to grow, Victoria’s public health team will provide more essential workers with an exemption from close contact home isolation requirements to attend their workplace. From 11:59pm, Tuesday 18 January, workers in emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight will join workers in the food production sector as being eligible for the exemption. Under the conditions of the exemption, the worker may return to work if it is necessary for continuity of operations and if other options have been exhausted. The exemption will apply to attending work only, not any other settings. In order to be eligible, the worker must first notify the employer of their status as a contact, and critically, both parties must consent to the worker returning to the workplace. They are already required to be fully vaccinated. Strong measures will be required to reduce the risk of a contact attending work while infectious: The worker must undertake a daily Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for five days and return a negative result prior to attending work each day They must wear a face mask at all times, with exceptions in the case of eating or drinking, or safety reasons, and a P2/N95 respirator is preferred The worker cannot enter shared break areas and the employer must try and facilitate solo break time. The employer must also take reasonable steps to deploy the worker in areas where transmission risk is lower If at any time the worker develops symptoms or tests positive on a RAT, the exemption no longer applies – they are a case, must isolate for 7 days, and must notify others including their employer. The exemption order is identical to that granted by Victoria’s public health team for key food and beverage workers, and is designed to protect the state’s essential workforce during the continuing Omicron wave. This exemption also currently applies to hospital workers, disability workers, residential aged care facility workers, and ambulance workers, but the use of an N95 mask at the workplace is a requirement, not a preference. Close contacts, otherwise known as household and household-like contacts, are people who have spent more than four hours with a case inside a house, accommodation or care facility. The Department of Health has also updated its contact management guidelines to require workplaces to notify the Department when five cases have attended the work premises within seven days. Previously, workplaces were required to advise the Department and Worksafe of single cases. More information on the conditions of the exemption and applicable cohorts of workers will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/isolation-exemptions when they come into effect at 11:59pm, Tuesday 18 January. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “This is about helping Victorians keep food on the table, lights on in the house and staff on in our hospitals.” “It’s safe and sensible in the eyes of our public health team, but to further protect themselves and the community, workers will have to use a rapid antigen test every day and wear a mask at all times.” “The worker’s rights are protected, and they can’t be directed to work if they are a contact – the worker has to agree to come in, just as they have to agree to the various preventative measures that will reduce risks for others.”

 

Australia Day 2022 Program Launched

Victorians will be able to enjoy a wide range of free, inclusive, accessible events as part of the newly released Australia Day 2022 program. Family friendly activities and a free public concert featuring some of Australia’s most iconic artists are just a small part of the jam-packed 2022 program – which has been developed to encourage reflection, togetherness and everything that makes our state and country strong. Victorians will experience a day of family-friendly entertainment and free food at Fed Square, with Bananas in Pyjamas and Bluey taking the stage, while the Roulettes provide a spectacular flyover and aerial display overhead. A free public concert will bring live music to picnickers at Flagstaff Gardens, featuring Daryl Braithwaite, Pierce Brothers, Darlinghurst and more. Australia Day is a day for all Australians, no matter where we’ve come from or where our personal stories began. On Australia Day, we recognise First Nations people as the traditional custodians of our land as part of a respectful reflection on what makes our state and nation special to us. It’s also an opportunity to show our gratitude to our frontline workers – those who go above and beyond every day to keep our state safe. These Victorians have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect our communities, and continue to do so with bravery and compassion. The Official Flag Raising Ceremony and Australia Day Reception at Government House this year will honour frontline workers, with many in attendance. Visit the Australia Day Victoria website for more information and to see the full program of events: www.vic.gov.au/whats-on-australia-day-victoria Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Australia Day is a day for telling our story, for recognising the contributions of extraordinary Victorians and for acknowledging our strength as a community – this program is delivering a wide range of events where we can do just that.” “We recognise and celebrate the traditional custodians of our land and aspire to celebrate our nation in ways that respect our First Nations peoples as part of our ongoing work on self-determination and Treaty in Victoria.”

Australia Day 2022 Program Launched

Victorians will be able to enjoy a wide range of free, inclusive, accessible events as part of the newly released Australia Day 2022 program. Family friendly activities and a free public concert featuring some of Australia’s most iconic artists are just a small part of the jam-packed 2022 program – which has been developed to encourage reflection, togetherness and everything that makes our state and country strong. Victorians will experience a day of family-friendly entertainment and free food at Fed Square, with Bananas in Pyjamas and Bluey taking the stage, while the Roulettes provide a spectacular flyover and aerial display overhead. A free public concert will bring live music to picnickers at Flagstaff Gardens, featuring Daryl Braithwaite, Pierce Brothers, Darlinghurst and more. Australia Day is a day for all Australians, no matter where we’ve come from or where our personal stories began. On Australia Day, we recognise First Nations people as the traditional custodians of our land as part of a respectful reflection on what makes our state and nation special to us. It’s also an opportunity to show our gratitude to our frontline workers – those who go above and beyond every day to keep our state safe. These Victorians have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to protect our communities, and continue to do so with bravery and compassion. The Official Flag Raising Ceremony and Australia Day Reception at Government House this year will honour frontline workers, with many in attendance. Visit the Australia Day Victoria website for more information and to see the full program of events: www.vic.gov.au/whats-on-australia-day-victoria Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “Australia Day is a day for telling our story, for recognising the contributions of extraordinary Victorians and for acknowledging our strength as a community – this program is delivering a wide range of events where we can do just that.” “We recognise and celebrate the traditional custodians of our land and aspire to celebrate our nation in ways that respect our First Nations peoples as part of our ongoing work on self-determination and Treaty in Victoria.”

We Want You: More Vaccinators For Our State-Run System

The Victorian Government will train up to 1,000 new vaccinators, helping first-year health students, retired nurses, and more join an expanded workforce to be deployed across state-run centres and boost our vaccination efforts. Millions of Victorians will become eligible for their third dose over the coming weeks, and a new pool of trained-up vaccinators will mean a broader workforce is available to prepare and administer COVID-19 vaccines, while also freeing up health professionals to return to their normal duties. The expanded force will join nurse and pharmacist immunisers in state-run vaccination clinics for up to six months and will be supervised by experienced clinicians. The new vaccinators will be operating in well-established public health service-run sites, with robust processes in place to ensure the new workforce is appropriately trained, supervised and supported. Known as Limited Scope COVID-19 Vaccinators, they will be required to successfully complete mandatory Commonwealth and Victorian COVID-19 vaccination training – equivalent to training requirements for other emergency authorised COVID-19 vaccination workforces. They will also complete a COVID-19 Clinical Skills and Competencies Assessment to ensure they can perform their duties appropriately. They will not be responsible for establishing patient consent and will be authorised to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people over the age of 18 years only. The vaccinators will also be supported and supervised by a ‘supervising authorised immuniser’ provided by health services, with relevant skills and experience in the technical aspects of vaccination. Over the next few months Victorians with appropriate knowledge, skills and experience will be encouraged to join the COVID-19 vaccinator workforce as required. Victorians with experience working in a health or community service setting, or who are enrolled in a health-related course, are desired – and they should regularly review local health service job advertisements and Department of Health jobs and careers websites. Applications will open in the week starting 17 January. Victorians aged 18 years and older are eligible to get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine four months after their second dose. If you got your second dose in September or earlier, book an appointment through your local GP or pharmacy, or visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine to book at a state-run clinic. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective – the best thing all Victorians can do to protect the health system and keep their families safe is get your third dose as soon as you’re eligible.” “With comprehensive training and supervision – we’re helping 1,000 Victorians in relevant fields get the training they need to join our vaccination efforts.” “Millions of Victorians will soon be eligible for their third dose, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure the community can access a vaccine as quickly and as safely as possible.”

We Want You: More Vaccinators For Our State-Run System

The Victorian Government will train up to 1,000 new vaccinators, helping first-year health students, retired nurses, and more join an expanded workforce to be deployed across state-run centres and boost our vaccination efforts. Millions of Victorians will become eligible for their third dose over the coming weeks, and a new pool of trained-up vaccinators will mean a broader workforce is available to prepare and administer COVID-19 vaccines, while also freeing up health professionals to return to their normal duties. The expanded force will join nurse and pharmacist immunisers in state-run vaccination clinics for up to six months and will be supervised by experienced clinicians. The new vaccinators will be operating in well-established public health service-run sites, with robust processes in place to ensure the new workforce is appropriately trained, supervised and supported. Known as Limited Scope COVID-19 Vaccinators, they will be required to successfully complete mandatory Commonwealth and Victorian COVID-19 vaccination training – equivalent to training requirements for other emergency authorised COVID-19 vaccination workforces. They will also complete a COVID-19 Clinical Skills and Competencies Assessment to ensure they can perform their duties appropriately. They will not be responsible for establishing patient consent and will be authorised to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people over the age of 18 years only. The vaccinators will also be supported and supervised by a ‘supervising authorised immuniser’ provided by health services, with relevant skills and experience in the technical aspects of vaccination. Over the next few months Victorians with appropriate knowledge, skills and experience will be encouraged to join the COVID-19 vaccinator workforce as required. Victorians with experience working in a health or community service setting, or who are enrolled in a health-related course, are desired – and they should regularly review local health service job advertisements and Department of Health jobs and careers websites. Applications will open in the week starting 17 January. Victorians aged 18 years and older are eligible to get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine four months after their second dose. If you got your second dose in September or earlier, book an appointment through your local GP or pharmacy, or visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine to book at a state-run clinic. Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health James Merlino “COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective – the best thing all Victorians can do to protect the health system and keep their families safe is get your third dose as soon as you’re eligible.” “With comprehensive training and supervision – we’re helping 1,000 Victorians in relevant fields get the training they need to join our vaccination efforts.” “Millions of Victorians will soon be eligible for their third dose, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure the community can access a vaccine as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Boosting Local Schools, GPs And Pharmacies In Vax Blitz

The Victorian Government is helping local doctors and community pharmacies deliver more doses for kids between 5 and 11 on school grounds as part of the Commonwealth’s coronavirus vaccination program. Through a new $4 million grants program, the Victorian Government is encouraging GPs and community pharmacists to establish additional mini-vaccination clinics at schools in areas that need more uptake, due to identified access challenges or increased risk of transmission. As part of the new Primary Care Vaccinations in Schools program, grants will help local and trusted health professionals deliver vaccinations to students in the familiarity and comfort of their own school environment, outside of school hours. Applicants will nominate the local government areas and number of schools and students they can help vaccinate – then successful applicants will be matched with schools in priority areas. Successful applicants can receive up to $6,500 to cover staffing, travel and equipment costs and more. An additional $5,000 clinic establishment fee per school is also available, plus additional loadings for specialist schools or small, rural or regional schools. In addition, the Victorian Government will roll out 30 pop-up vaccination clinics at primary schools across the state. The pop-ups will be open to all children aged 5 to 11, not just those attending the school hosting the clinic. The pop-up school vaccination sites will be rolled out over the coming weeks, with bookings available soon. Families are encouraged to make a booking now at one of the many state-run sites currently open for five to 11 doses, or at one of the many local GPs and pharmacists delivering kids vaccines across the state. Being vaccinated protects children and reduces transmission within families, schools and in the community including those we care most about such as grandparents. The new, child-focused grants come as the latest round of Vaccine Enhancement Grants supporting GPs and pharmacies to deliver more doses comes to a close, with more than 586 expressions of interest received. To date, $3.4 million in grant funding has been approved for 270 providers – and more applications are still under consideration. Some 22 priority LGAs have been reached, with 51 grants so far awarded to regional providers. Among the successful recipients are a general practice in Melbourne’s inner north who estimate they’ll be able to deliver a 200 per cent increase in weekly doses thanks to the grant, and a pharmacy in the City of Knox that can extend service by an extra 10 hours a week and open its doors to walk ups. Learn more about the Primary Care Vaccinations in Schools program at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/grants-primary-care-vaccinations. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “With 30 vaccination centres at schools, more than 35 vaccination centres in the community, plus grants for GPs and pharmacies to deliver more vaccines – we are doing all we can to get jabs into arms young and old.” “Vaccination is the best thing you do to keep your children and family safe – get the kids vaccinated and your third dose at the same time.” School pop-up vaccination clinics School Local Government Area Yuille Park P-8 Community College Ballarat Glengala Primary School Brimbank Cairnlea Park Primary School Brimbank Movelle Primary School Brimbank St Albans East Primary School Brimbank Keilor Views Primary School Brimbank Cranbourne West Primary School Casey Fountain Gate Primary School Casey Mossgiel Park Primary School Casey Narre Warren South P-12 College Casey William Ruthven Primary School Darebin Bairnsdale Primary School East Gippsland Kennington Primary School Greater Bendigo Lyndale Greens Primary School Greater Dangenong Spring Parks Primary School Greater Dangenong Roslyn Primary School Greater Geelong Roxburgh Homestead Primary School Hume Craigieburn Primary School Hume Hume Valley School Hume Moe (Albert Street) Primary School Latrobe Melton Primary School Melton Mildura Primary School Mildura Glen Waverley Primary School Monash Belle Vue Park Primary School Moreland Moomba Park Primary School Moreland School site to be finalised Shepparton Wodonga South Primary School Wodonga Wyndham Vale Primary School Wyndham Tarneit P-9 College Wyndham Lilydale Primary School Yarra Ranges  

Boosting Local Schools, GPs And Pharmacies In Vax Blitz

The Victorian Government is helping local doctors and community pharmacies deliver more doses for kids between 5 and 11 on school grounds as part of the Commonwealth’s coronavirus vaccination program. Through a new $4 million grants program, the Victorian Government is encouraging GPs and community pharmacists to establish additional mini-vaccination clinics at schools in areas that need more uptake, due to identified access challenges or increased risk of transmission. As part of the new Primary Care Vaccinations in Schools program, grants will help local and trusted health professionals deliver vaccinations to students in the familiarity and comfort of their own school environment, outside of school hours. Applicants will nominate the local government areas and number of schools and students they can help vaccinate – then successful applicants will be matched with schools in priority areas. Successful applicants can receive up to $6,500 to cover staffing, travel and equipment costs and more. An additional $5,000 clinic establishment fee per school is also available, plus additional loadings for specialist schools or small, rural or regional schools. In addition, the Victorian Government will roll out 30 pop-up vaccination clinics at primary schools across the state. The pop-ups will be open to all children aged 5 to 11, not just those attending the school hosting the clinic. The pop-up school vaccination sites will be rolled out over the coming weeks, with bookings available soon. Families are encouraged to make a booking now at one of the many state-run sites currently open for five to 11 doses, or at one of the many local GPs and pharmacists delivering kids vaccines across the state. Being vaccinated protects children and reduces transmission within families, schools and in the community including those we care most about such as grandparents. The new, child-focused grants come as the latest round of Vaccine Enhancement Grants supporting GPs and pharmacies to deliver more doses comes to a close, with more than 586 expressions of interest received. To date, $3.4 million in grant funding has been approved for 270 providers – and more applications are still under consideration. Some 22 priority LGAs have been reached, with 51 grants so far awarded to regional providers. Among the successful recipients are a general practice in Melbourne’s inner north who estimate they’ll be able to deliver a 200 per cent increase in weekly doses thanks to the grant, and a pharmacy in the City of Knox that can extend service by an extra 10 hours a week and open its doors to walk ups. Learn more about the Primary Care Vaccinations in Schools program at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/grants-primary-care-vaccinations. Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “With 30 vaccination centres at schools, more than 35 vaccination centres in the community, plus grants for GPs and pharmacies to deliver more vaccines – we are doing all we can to get jabs into arms young and old.” “Vaccination is the best thing you do to keep your children and family safe – get the kids vaccinated and your third dose at the same time.” School pop-up vaccination clinics School Local Government Area Yuille Park P-8 Community College Ballarat Glengala Primary School Brimbank Cairnlea Park Primary School Brimbank Movelle Primary School Brimbank St Albans East Primary School Brimbank Keilor Views Primary School Brimbank Cranbourne West Primary School Casey Fountain Gate Primary School Casey Mossgiel Park Primary School Casey Narre Warren South P-12 College Casey William Ruthven Primary School Darebin Bairnsdale Primary School East Gippsland Kennington Primary School Greater Bendigo Lyndale Greens Primary School Greater Dangenong Spring Parks Primary School Greater Dangenong Roslyn Primary School Greater Geelong Roxburgh Homestead Primary School Hume Craigieburn Primary School Hume Hume Valley School Hume Moe (Albert Street) Primary School Latrobe Melton Primary School Melton Mildura Primary School Mildura Glen Waverley Primary School Monash Belle Vue Park Primary School Moreland Moomba Park Primary School Moreland School site to be finalised Shepparton Wodonga South Primary School Wodonga Wyndham Vale Primary School Wyndham Tarneit P-9 College Wyndham Lilydale Primary School Yarra Ranges  

Keeping Victorian Workers In Key Sectors Safe

Given the current rate of COVID-19 hospitalisations and cases, a number of important but proportionate changes will be introduced to further protect our highest-risk health care and hospitality settings – and key workforces – from the risk of outbreaks and super-spreader events. Under new pandemic orders coming into place at 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January, workers in key sectors who are already required to be fully vaccinated must get their third dose before being permitted to work onsite. This will apply to healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facility, quarantine accommodation and food distribution workers. Workplaces must sight and record proof of vaccination. Workers eligible for a third dose on or before Wednesday 12 January will have until Saturday 12 February to get their vital third dose. Workers not yet eligible for a third dose will be required to get it within three months and two weeks of the deadline to receive their second mandatory dose. This means residential aged care workers must receive their third dose by 1 March, and health care workers by 29 March. Disability, quarantine accommodation, correctional facilities, emergency services, and food distribution workers will need to receive their third dose by 12 March. Food distribution workers includes manufacturing, warehousing and transport (freight/port) workers involved in food distribution. Retail supermarket staff are not included in the mandate. Victorians in these priority cohorts were among the first required to have their first and second dose vaccination during 2021. The mandatory vaccination requirement will not apply to workers who have a valid medical exemption. This order responds to the increased risks of COVID-19 exposure to critical workers, their proximity to vulnerable people, the higher risk of the virus spreading in their workplace and the need to protect access to essential goods and services. All Victorians continue to be encouraged to get their third dose as soon as they become eligible and we’ll continue working with public health experts and industry on vaccination requirements. As a sensible step to reduce the risks of the virus spreading, indoor dancefloors within hospitality and entertainment venues must close from 11:59pm 12 January. Venues can still operate and there are no changes to the density settings currently in place. This change reflects settings already in place in other states, including New South Wales. Indoor dancefloors at weddings will be permitted, but wedding hosts and guests should still consider the risks of dancefloors and choose to locate them outdoors if possible. The strong recommendations that people work from home if they are able and that patrons in hospitality and entertainment venues opt for seated service will continue. It is recommended that people visiting these venues who can access Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) should use them before attending. Please continue to monitor your health and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms. In addition, further visitor restrictions will be applied to hospitals and aged care settings – reflecting the vulnerable nature of patients and residents in these facilities. Residents at aged care centres will continue to be permitted up to five visitors per day, but visitors must return a negative RAT result before entering. If no RATs are available at the facility, residents will be permitted no more than two visitors. Visitors in hospitals must have received two doses of the vaccine or must return a negative RAT result before entering. Adult visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear an N95 mask during their visit. Standard face masks continue to be mandated for children aged 8 and above. While test requirements upon arrival remain unchanged, fully vaccinated international arrivals will no longer need to get a second PCR or RAT five to seven days after their arrival. This change is in line with the decision of National Cabinet last week and recognises the high levels of COVID-19 transmission currently in the community. To ensure Victorians can continue to access essential food supplies, workers in the manufacturing, distribution or packaging of food and beverages including retail supermarket workers may be exempted from close contact isolation requirements in order to attend work from 11.59pm Wednesday 12 January, if it is necessary for continuity of operations and other options have been exhausted. To mitigate risks, exempted workers must be asymptomatic, undertake daily RATs for 5 days and return a negative result prior to attending work. They can’t enter shared break areas, and employers are asked to facilitate solo break time. In addition, face coverings must be worn, using N95/P2 respirators if possible. Both the worker and workplace must consent to the worker’s return. This new close contact isolation exemption for asymptomatic food distribution workers is similar to the arrangements already in place for critical healthcare workers. Information on updated COVIDSafe settings and third dose vaccination requirements will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au when the orders come into effect at 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “This is a sensible extension of our existing vaccination requirements – ensuring our critical workers and the vulnerable community members they look after are protected.” “Victoria is open and the community is encouraged to support businesses in a COVIDSafe way. Closing indoor dancefloors is a simple but important step – we know they pose an extraordinary risk of mass transmission.” “No setting is more vulnerable than hospitals and aged care, and that’s why visitors to hospitals will be required to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or return a negative Rapid Antigen Test.”

Keeping Victorian Workers In Key Sectors Safe

Given the current rate of COVID-19 hospitalisations and cases, a number of important but proportionate changes will be introduced to further protect our highest-risk health care and hospitality settings – and key workforces – from the risk of outbreaks and super-spreader events. Under new pandemic orders coming into place at 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January, workers in key sectors who are already required to be fully vaccinated must get their third dose before being permitted to work onsite. This will apply to healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facility, quarantine accommodation and food distribution workers. Workplaces must sight and record proof of vaccination. Workers eligible for a third dose on or before Wednesday 12 January will have until Saturday 12 February to get their vital third dose. Workers not yet eligible for a third dose will be required to get it within three months and two weeks of the deadline to receive their second mandatory dose. This means residential aged care workers must receive their third dose by 1 March, and health care workers by 29 March. Disability, quarantine accommodation, correctional facilities, emergency services, and food distribution workers will need to receive their third dose by 12 March. Food distribution workers includes manufacturing, warehousing and transport (freight/port) workers involved in food distribution. Retail supermarket staff are not included in the mandate. Victorians in these priority cohorts were among the first required to have their first and second dose vaccination during 2021. The mandatory vaccination requirement will not apply to workers who have a valid medical exemption. This order responds to the increased risks of COVID-19 exposure to critical workers, their proximity to vulnerable people, the higher risk of the virus spreading in their workplace and the need to protect access to essential goods and services. All Victorians continue to be encouraged to get their third dose as soon as they become eligible and we’ll continue working with public health experts and industry on vaccination requirements. As a sensible step to reduce the risks of the virus spreading, indoor dancefloors within hospitality and entertainment venues must close from 11:59pm 12 January. Venues can still operate and there are no changes to the density settings currently in place. This change reflects settings already in place in other states, including New South Wales. Indoor dancefloors at weddings will be permitted, but wedding hosts and guests should still consider the risks of dancefloors and choose to locate them outdoors if possible. The strong recommendations that people work from home if they are able and that patrons in hospitality and entertainment venues opt for seated service will continue. It is recommended that people visiting these venues who can access Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) should use them before attending. Please continue to monitor your health and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms. In addition, further visitor restrictions will be applied to hospitals and aged care settings – reflecting the vulnerable nature of patients and residents in these facilities. Residents at aged care centres will continue to be permitted up to five visitors per day, but visitors must return a negative RAT result before entering. If no RATs are available at the facility, residents will be permitted no more than two visitors. Visitors in hospitals must have received two doses of the vaccine or must return a negative RAT result before entering. Adult visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear an N95 mask during their visit. Standard face masks continue to be mandated for children aged 8 and above. While test requirements upon arrival remain unchanged, fully vaccinated international arrivals will no longer need to get a second PCR or RAT five to seven days after their arrival. This change is in line with the decision of National Cabinet last week and recognises the high levels of COVID-19 transmission currently in the community. To ensure Victorians can continue to access essential food supplies, workers in the manufacturing, distribution or packaging of food and beverages including retail supermarket workers may be exempted from close contact isolation requirements in order to attend work from 11.59pm Wednesday 12 January, if it is necessary for continuity of operations and other options have been exhausted. To mitigate risks, exempted workers must be asymptomatic, undertake daily RATs for 5 days and return a negative result prior to attending work. They can’t enter shared break areas, and employers are asked to facilitate solo break time. In addition, face coverings must be worn, using N95/P2 respirators if possible. Both the worker and workplace must consent to the worker’s return. This new close contact isolation exemption for asymptomatic food distribution workers is similar to the arrangements already in place for critical healthcare workers. Information on updated COVIDSafe settings and third dose vaccination requirements will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au when the orders come into effect at 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January. Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Martin Foley “This is a sensible extension of our existing vaccination requirements – ensuring our critical workers and the vulnerable community members they look after are protected.” “Victoria is open and the community is encouraged to support businesses in a COVIDSafe way. Closing indoor dancefloors is a simple but important step – we know they pose an extraordinary risk of mass transmission.” “No setting is more vulnerable than hospitals and aged care, and that’s why visitors to hospitals will be required to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or return a negative Rapid Antigen Test.”