A short guide on how to work out what vaccine you’re eligible to receive, how to book an appointment, and where to go for a walk-in vaccination.
The best way to book in for your Pfizer or AstraZeneca shot is to call the Victorian governments new COVID vaccination hotline on 1800 571 121.
However, Victorian health authorities have repeatedly warned this hotline is receiving a high volume of calls and it may take several attempts to get through to an operator.
Professor Ben Cowie who is leading Victorias vaccine rollout across 34 state-run vaccine clinics urged people to be patient and keep calling the coronavirus hotline until they reached an operator.
I would say if you are one of those tens of thousands of Victorians calling in at any one time, please, if you cannot get through, Im sorry, but if you could possibly call back in the afternoon, Professor Cowie said on Friday.
A small number of Melbourne hospitals, including the Austin Hospital and Northern Hospital, have their own vaccination hotlines set-up, with some people reporting success in calling them directly to book in their Pfizer shots.
However, the government advice remains to call the state-run hotline and not call hospitals directly amid concerns it could lead to some vaccination centres being completely overrun.
Other major health services including The Alfred, which has a small on-site vaccine clinic, and the Northern Hospital will only accept Pfizer shot bookings that are made via the state-run vaccine hotline.
As of Monday afternoon, the Royal Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Showgrounds and Sunshine Hospital mass vaccine clinics began accepting walk-ins for pfizer, but this could change if the centres are overrun.
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is being overseen by the department of health, allowed walk-ins for the pfizer vaccine late Monday, but lines spilled out for several hundred metres and those in the que were told it could be a more than three hour wait.
The vast majority of general practitioners in Victoria are yet to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but this will change soon following a decision by Australias medical regulator that will allow the Pfizer vaccine to be stored in standard fridges for up to a month.
This means GPs will soon be allowed to administer Pfizer as well as AstraZeneca, taking some of the pressure off state-run mass clinics and freeing up the coronavirus hotline.
What vaccine am I eligible for?
If you are between the ages of 40 and 49 you are eligible to receive the Pfizer shot at any state-run vaccination sites, but you must book your appointment in advance. Those aged over 50 must still book in for AstraZeneca appointments.
Can I get a vaccine without making an appointment?
As of Monday afternoon, the Royal Exhibition Building and the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds mass vaccine clinics began accepting walk-ins for Pfizer, but this could change if the centres are overrun by people.
However, those above the age of 50 can get an AstraZeneca jab, either by appointment or walk-in. The Victorian government has a list of walk-in vaccination sites on its website here, as well as wait times, which are continually updated.
The availability of walk-in vaccinations is subject to change, depending on daily demand.
If you have already received your first shot you must receive the same vaccine type for your second shot.
For the Pfizer vaccine, you need to wait at least three weeks between doses, while for AstraZeneca it is recommended you wait 12 weeks between doses.
Here is a full list of mass clinics, which typically allow walk-ins for AstraZeneca vaccines
- Ascot Vale, Melbourne Showgrounds
- Ballarat, Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
- Bendigo, Bendigo Community Clinic
- Broadmeadows, Broadmeadows Town Hall
- Carlton, Royal Exhibition Building
- Coburg, Coburg Uniting Church – Walk-ins not currently available
- Cranbourne, Cranbourne Turf Club
- Deer Park, IPC Health – Deer Park – Walk-ins not currently available
- Epping, Northern Hospital
- Heidelberg Heights, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
- Melbourne CBD, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
- Ringwood, Ringwood East Community Clinic (Braeside Avenue) – Walk-ins not currently available
- Shepparton, Shepparton Showgrounds
- South Morang, Plenty Ranges Arts and Convention Centre
- Springvale, Sandown Racecourse
- St Albans, Sunshine Hospital
- Traralgon East, Traralgon Racecourse
- West Melbourne, West Melbourne – Cohealth
- Wodonga, Wodonga Vaccination Hub
For more information, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/book-your-vaccine-appointment
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