Vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorian children will soon have the chance to get their COVID-19 vaccine among lions, meerkats, sharks, dinosaurs, robots and starlit galaxies.
Starting on 12 February, COVID-19 vaccination pop-ups will roll out in some of Victoria’s most iconic venues – including Scienceworks, Melbourne Zoo and Sealife Aquarium – with each site intended specifically for vulnerable children or those living with disability.
Victoria’s pop-ups for kids – or ‘K-pops’ – will start at nine initial locations across Melbourne. Each site will be able to administer up to 100 paediatric doses each weekend and will supplement the network of state-run, enchanted forest-themed vaccination centres across Victoria.
Initially vaccine recipients at these venues will be invitation-only, with the Department of Health and the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing identifying children with potential access issues. Invitees will include children from out of home care, living with disability or in contact with specialist services. K-pops will be hosted at:
- Melbourne Zoo
- Healesville Sanctuary
- Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Sealife Aquarium
- Melbourne Museum
- Immigration Museum
- State Library of Victoria
The Department of Health has worked closely with host venues to ensure a safe and clinical environment. Parents, carers and guardians of children attending for vaccination will receive entry passes to visit the venues – and the sites will not accept walk-ups.
Approximately 98,000 children have been vaccinated through state-run centres since January 10, with around 160,000 vaccinated at more than 1,200 pharmacies and GPs.
Vaccination pop-ups at a dozen Victorian schools last week were a great success, with more than 6,000 people vaccinated – around half of which were children between 5 and 11.
Many of Victoria’s ‘enchanted forest of protection’ state-run centres are open for walk-ups for children. Check details or book at a state-run centre by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.
As stated by Minister for Health Martin Foley
“Come for the vaccine and stay for Nemo and Dory – that’s our special offer to hundreds of vulnerable children and their families across Victoria, who might need and deserve that extra bit of assistance to get protected.”
“We know needles can be a bit daunting for kids, but the young ones that come to our vaccination centres they are entering an enchanted forest of protection.”
“We’re proud to have established Australia’s most diverse and successful COVID-19 vaccination program – one that recognises access issues and builds solutions by listening directly to experts and community groups.”