Doctors set for Victorian school vax drive



Doctors and pharmacists will be brought into Victorian primary schools in a COVID-19 vaccination blitz for children aged five to 11.

In his first press conference for 2022, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a $4 million grants program for GPs and community pharmacists to establish mini-clinics at schools in areas that need more uptake.

Grants of up to $6500 will be available to cover staffing, travel and equipment, with an extra $5000 grant for schools to establish a vaccination clinic.

It comes a day after the age group became eligible for the jab, with doctors and parents reporting issues getting bookings and supply.

Victoria recorded 37,994 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths on Tuesday, with Mr Andrews saying half of the state’s 171,369 active cases were people aged 18 to 39.

He urged people to get their third dose vaccinations and boosters, noting only half of people who are eligible have one so.

Mr Andrews also acknowledged the frustration of vaccinated people who are still having to isolate, but said it was to reduce pressure on the hospital system and ensure non-COVID patients in hospitals can still get care.

“If we were to stop isolating people, if we were to stop testing … we would finish up with not hundreds of people on general wards, we’ll finish up with thousands,” he said.

“I know it’s deeply inconvenient, I know it’s frustrating to be double dose or triple dose vaccinated and having to isolate at home … you’re playing such a big part in keeping us safe and making sure that our health system, whilst under enormous pressure, can still cope.”

There are 861 patients in hospital, 43 more than the previous day, including 117 in ICU and 27 on ventilation.

The latest figures come as paramedics warn there will be delays in ambulances reaching people for the second time in a week.

Ambulance Victoria said it was experiencing “extremely high demand for ambulances” in metropolitan Melbourne.

“It is likely there will be a delay in an ambulance reaching you,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Our priority is to provide care to Victorians who require life-saving assistance.”

AV asked Victorians to only use triple zero for emergencies and to contact Nurse On Call or visit their GP is their illness is not an emergency.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transport says there may be disruptions to services over the next few because of the large number of staff isolating.

The number of people using public transport is currently 29 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

Under new pandemic orders that kick in at 11.59 pm on Wednesday, the state will mandate vaccine boosters for critical workers, indoor dancefloors will close and food workers will be exempt from isolation rules.


We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles