Victoria launches pop-up vaccination clinics for the homeless
The Victorian Government is ramping up its efforts to protect its citizens from contracting COVID-19 by launching pop-up vaccination clinics for the homeless and disadvantaged.
The pop-up vaccination clinics will operate in areas led by the community health organisation CoHealth in Melbourne CBD, Collingwood and Footscray.
“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.
The vaccination team in the clinics will include two community health nurses, a social worker and a worker who has experienced homelessness. These clinics have the capacity to vaccinate 40 people per day.
About a dozen more pop-up sites will be established across Melbourne’s inner north, inner west and CBD in the coming weeks. These pop-up clinics will be in locations frequented by people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage such as homelessness services, drop-in centres, crisis accommodation facilities, and rooming houses.
The Victorian Government has commissioned organisations to provide vaccines to people facing disadvantages. The mobile vaccination clinics are part of the C-19 network of five community health organisations which includes IPC Health, CoHealth, DPV Health, EACH, and StarHealth.
Over 3,500 weekly vaccine doses are being allocated to the C-19 outreach. Local public health units are also prioritising additional doses for these cohorts at high risk from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Pfizer eligibility has been expanded at state-commissioned vaccination centres. Those now eligible to receive first doses of Pfizer regardless of age are healthcare workers, hotel quarantine workers, international border workers, household contacts (aged 16 years and over) of hotel quarantine and international border workers, residential aged and disability care workers and residents.
Victoria is leading the country on vaccinations with more than 1.4 million doses administered to date at state-commissioned services.
“We know that people without a secure home are highly vulnerable to COVID-19, so we are removing any barries they may have in accessing the vaccine to ensure they can get vaccinated quickly,” Minister for Health Martin Foley said.