As the state posts 5721 virus infections and 24 deaths, Victorians awaiting their third COVID-19 vaccine are being asked to donate blood to aid research.
The latest figures come as Innovation and Medical Research Minister Jaala Pulford met with COVID-19 researchers on Saturday.
She said the state’s COVID-19 Vaccines Collection biobank, located at the Doherty Institute, was seeking up to 1500 blood donors to aid a long-term research effort.
The biobank will provide insight into the effectiveness of vaccines and the effects of COVID-19 over time, while also helping experts prepare for new strains of the virus.
Of the latest cases reported by the Health Department on Saturday, 3887 were self-reported from rapid antigen tests and 1834 from PCR lab tests.
The number of Victorians in hospital with COVID-19 rose by five to 250 patients on Saturday. This includes 28 patients in intensive care and eight on ventilation.
Active cases in the state have dropped below 40,000 to 39,556 cases.
Some 60.5 per cent of Victorian adults have received three vaccine doses.
Victorians due to receive their third dose are eligible to donate blood, with donors asked to provide blood samples over two years, including before and after receiving a third jab.
Ms Pulford said the elderly, people living with HIV, healthcare workers, people who’ve been infected with coronavirus and those who are immunocompromised are strongly encouraged to apply.
“This new biobank will be a key part of managing coronavirus going forward while allowing researchers to monitor the effects of vaccines and prepare for any new strains,” she said.