Victorians experiencing homelessness and disadvantage will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at new pop-up clinics launched by the state government.
Health Minister Martin Foley on Thursday announced community health organisation CoHealth has commenced mobile pop-up clinics in Melbourne’s CBD, Collingwood and Footscray.
Each vaccination team includes two community health nurses, a social worker and a worker who has experienced homelessness. Clinics will have the capacity to vaccinate 40 people each day.
Dozens more pop-up sites will be established in the weeks ahead across Melbourne locations frequented by people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage, including drop-in centres, crisis accommodation facilities and rooming houses.
“We know that people without a secure home are highly vulnerable to COVID-19, so we are removing any barriers they may have in accessing the vaccine to ensure they can get vaccinated quickly,” Mr Foley said in a statement.
The mobile vaccination clinics are being rolled out as part of the C-19 network of five community health organisations – including IPC Health, CoHealth, DPV Health, EACH, and StarHealth.
The Victorian government has commissioned the organisations to provide vaccines to people facing disadvantage, including those in public housing, in temporary accommodation, and those experiencing homelessness.
More than 3,500 weekly vaccine doses are being allocated to the C-19 outreach, with local public health units also prioritising additional doses for these cohorts at high risk from COVID-19.
“People experiencing homelessness are arguably our most disadvantaged community members – taking the vaccine to where people are in the community is a critical part of our pandemic response,” CoHealth CEO Nicole Bartholomeusz said.
Meanwhile, Pfizer eligibility has been expanded at state-commissioned vaccination centres. All healthcare workers, hotel quarantine and international border workers (and their household contacts aged 16 and over) and residential aged care disability care workers and residents are now eligible for Pfizer, regardless of age.
Information on how eligible Victorians can access vaccination centres, including wait times at clinics, is available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine
For more information about the Australian Government’s vaccination program visit www.health.gov.au