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Record numbers of Victorians receive COVID jab | UKTN

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Nearly 7,000 coronavirus injections have been given in Victoria since the state opened its vaccination centers to all people over the age of 50 on Monday morning.

Some 6,923 doses of the vaccine were administered within 24 hours through Tuesday morning at 22 mass immunization centers across the state, according to the health department.

The department said the number of reported doses was a 105% increase on the same day last week.

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More than 13,000 Victorians also called the state’s reservation hotline to make an appointment to receive the hit.

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The national vaccine rollout was expanded on Monday to include phase 2a, which includes anyone aged 50 or older as well as all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged 18 to 49.

Victoria’s interim prime minister James Merlino said authorities have been preparing for weeks.

“The Department of Health has done a great job preparing to be at this point, which means we could make this change immediately and start with thousands more (doses),” he told the journalists.

“We can do even more subject to the Commonwealth vaccine supply.”

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Mr Merlino also noted that Victorians would likely be more likely than other Australians to be vaccinated, given the state has suffered the country’s only second wave of coronavirus infections.

The second wave resulted in thousands of cases, hundreds of deaths and an extended 112-day lockdown.

“The Victorians’ experience in 2020, I think, has meant that we really want to make sure we get vaccinated,” Mr Merlino said.

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“There is great enthusiasm for getting the vaccine because we know that getting the vaccine is our fastest path to normalcy.”

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But he warned that the pandemic will not be over until billions of people around the world are vaccinated.

“We are not out of this pandemic,” he said.

“We see it in the pretty dire situation in India and other parts of the world.”

Victoria recorded its 67th consecutive day without a locally acquired coronavirus case on Tuesday, after 14,325 tests.

A traveler returning from hotel quarantine, however, tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of active cases in the state to 21.

-AAP

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