The interval time between Pfizer vaccine doses in Victoria is being dropped from six to three weeks, for people wanting to bring their appointments forward to get fully-vaxxed sooner.
Premier Dan Andrews announced the shortening of the jab intervals at the state’s daily COVID press conference on Thursday, and said it’s an effort to try and get the state to hit its 70% double dose vaccine target by October 26.
“Over the next few weeks, we will be able to have more people get not just one dose but, in fact, complete their vaccination process with two doses,” he said.
“That will help us to bring forward, or at least help us to deliver and hopefully bring forward, our 70% double dose target which is still on or about 26 October.”
“That’s so important because that’s when the lockdown ends.”
With the new time between Pfizer vaccine doses at state-run vaccination hubs, anyone who has already had their first jab will be able to book their second appointment three weeks from that date. And those who are yet to book in for their first Pfizer vaccine jab can theoretically be fully vaccinated by the end of October if they act quickly and lock that first jab in.
Considering the state recorded a whopping 1438 new cases on Thursday – and a third of those people had only had one dose of a vaccine – the government is now looking at what it can do to keep the state on track to hit its vax targets.
“Anything we can do to bring that [target] forward, even by a day or two, obviously helps,” Dan said.
“Because the sooner we can reach that target, the sooner the lockdown ends and the reasons to leave home go, and we we move to an entirely different phase.
“It’s such an important milestone.”
COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar recognised that Victorians are definitely feeling the lockdown fatigue after over 240 days indoors, which is likely why the long weekend contributed to today’s surge in COVID cases. But it’s what Victorians do next that will be crucial to the state progressing out of lockdown.
“I think we’re at a key decision point as Victorians from where we go from here,” he said.
“We need to decide if we’re going to push through the fatigue and get the job done, at the end of October, we should get to our 70% fully vaccinated status, and that gives us all hope for a much better and cleaner future.
“But we need to get the vaccination job done in the next few weeks ahead. That’s a responsibility for all of us to complete our vaccination, and encourage those around you to get vaccinated, so we can protect ourselves from the high rates of cases in transmission we’re now seeing all around us.”
All adult Aussies (yep, even those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.