Over the coming weeks, Victorians will be able to come for a shot of coffee and stay for a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, with ‘neighbourhood pop-ups’ visiting cafes, gyms, clubs and shopping strips across our suburbs.
The first neighbourhood pop-up will open today at Degani’s Mernda Junction café in Melbourne’s outer north – with more Degani locations to follow.
The neighbourhood pop-up model is designed to support Victorians to get vaccinated with Pfizer at a convenient location, in a familiar setting, and in a culturally safe way – which is key to increasing uptake.
The pop-ups will vaccinate dozens of people over a two-to-three hour period, delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government, local GPs, pharmacies and community organisations, and St John Ambulance.
No bookings will be required at neighbourhood pop-ups, which will be placed within marquees on shopping strips, inside cultural and community centres, or within popular retail, food and gym outlets.
Neighbourhood pop ups are also planned with several Neighbourhood Houses, and Foundation House will host vaccination offerings for new migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Local engagement strategies are also a part of the program, including doorknocking.
Suburbs in scope for neighbourhood pop-ups are concentrated in Melbourne’s mid and outer north, west and south east, with Broadmeadows, Craigieburn, Glenroy and South Morang among the next on the list.
The announcement comes as Victoria reached another milestone, with 60 per cent of Victorians 16 and over fully vaccinated. The state’s second dose rate is increasing fast: second doses made up almost 80 per cent of all doses administered at state-run centres yesterday. Moderna second doses have also begun in state-run centres.
Victoria is well on the way to becoming one of the world’s most vaccinated jurisdictions. 60.9 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have received their first dose – including 77 per cent of people aged 50 and over and more than 95 per cent of people aged 70 and over.
Victoria’s larger community pop-ups are also making a difference. 238 second dose vaccinations were administered yesterday at the Australian Islamic Centre pop-up in Newport, and 463 people got vaccinated at the Palm Plaza near the Dandenong Market.
Victorians can also book a vaccine at a state-run centre by visiting coronavirus.vic.gov.au or calling 1800 675 398, or through their local GP or pharmacist by visiting covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.
As stated by Minister for Health Martin Foley
“We believe we can reach even more people by offering a chance to be vaccinated as they are going about their day-to-day, in a setting that’s familiar, comfortable and local.”
“Victoria started this program with mass vaccination centres in some of Australia’s largest buildings, and now we’re finishing it in with mini-pop ups in the suburban cafes and shops that people visit every day.”
“We couldn’t do any of this without the enthusiastic partnership of general practice, pharmacy, community organisations and local businesses.”