Victoria records no new local coronavirus cases

Victoria has recorded no new local coronavirus cases for the 11th day in a row and one in hotel quarantine.

There are now six active cases remaining across the state. More than 8,800 tests were completed in the last 24 hours.

Tens of thousands of Victorians are set to receive the AstraZeneca jab at vaccination centres throughout Melbourne, including an enormous temporary clinic built within Sunshine Hospital’s multi-storey car park.

Once they reach peak capacity, it’s estimated that more than 20,000 people per week will be vaccinated at the clinic and another similar centre at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

The first AstraZeneca jab administered to a Victorian healthcare worker was given to an infection control nurse at the Heidelberg hospital on Monday morning.

The operation lead of Austin Health’s coronavirus vaccine clinics, Dr Janine Trevillyan, said it was expected the clinic could be vaccinating about 10,000 patients every week by the end of the month, helping fast-track the vaccine rollout.

The mass vaccination centre at Sunshine Hospital is now open for business.Credit:Penny Stephens / Western Health

While the first weeks of Australia’s vaccination program focused heavily on healthcare and workers in other high-risk jobs – the category known as 1a on the vaccine priority list – more members of the public could start being vaccinated within weeks.

The jab will be made available to those aged 70 and over and other adults considered at higher risk of falling ill with coronavirus, when phase 1b of the vaccine rollout begins.

After that, priority focus moves to the 2a category (other critical workers and adults aged 50 and over) then 2b (the remainder of the adult population).

“I think probably within a couple of weeks we’ll be at the 1b group,” Dr Trevillyan said. “And then we are anticipating we will be open for the rest of the year to help vaccinate the general public.”

More to come

With Aisha Dow and Melissa Cunningham

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