Huge lines form in Melbourne for over 50s to get the Covid jab


Glimmer of hope in Australia’s fledgling Covid vaccination program as huge lines form in Melbourne for over 50s to get the jab

  • Monday was the first day anyone over 50 became eligible for the AstraZenca Covid vaccine in Australia
  • Huge queues developed outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a mass vaccination hub 
  • Residents were wearing masks and practicing physical distancing as they waited patiently for their turn
  • As of Sunday night, 2,260,615 Australians had been vaccinated, with 815,709 of those at state clinics 

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Australia’s beleaguered vaccination rollout looks set to rapidly gather pace as thousands of over 50s lined up to get their jab on the first day they became eligible.

Huge queues developed outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which has been turned into a mass vaccination hub by the Victorian government. 

Residents were wearing masks and practicing physical distancing as they waited patiently for their turn to get the jab. 

Huge queues developed outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which has been turned into a mass vaccination hub by the Victorian government

Huge queues developed outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which has been turned into a mass vaccination hub by the Victorian government

Residents were wearing masks and practicing physical distancing as they waited patiently for their turn to get the jab

Residents were wearing masks and practicing physical distancing as they waited patiently for their turn to get the jab

Australia's beleaguered vaccination rollout looks set to rapidly gather pace as thousands of over 50s lined up to get their jab on the first day they became eligible

Australia’s beleaguered vaccination rollout looks set to rapidly gather pace as thousands of over 50s lined up to get their jab on the first day they became eligible

As of Sunday night, 2,260,615 Australians had been vaccinated, with 815,709 of those at state and territory clinics

As of Sunday night, 2,260,615 Australians had been vaccinated, with 815,709 of those at state and territory clinics

Monday was the first day anyone over 50 became eligible for the AstraZenca vaccine at general practice respiratory clinics and state and territory vaccination clinics.

On May 17, the vaccination program under Phase 2b will be expanded to GP surgeries.

Up to 15.8million doses are available for this part of the rollout, which includes catching up on any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases. 

As of Sunday night, 2,260,615 Australians had been vaccinated, with 815,709 of those at state and territory clinics. 

The figure is still way behind other developed nations such as the US and UK, which has jabbed half the nation. Australia started its program later and suffered supply shortages due to European export bans. 

The scenes in Melbourne stand in stark contrast to pictures last week from Sydney which showed a vaccine centre completely empty despite 300 people being booked in for their jabs.

 The vaccination facility in Ryde in Sydney’s north had received the bookings on Wednesday but instead next to no one showed up. 

‘If you are looking to be vaccinated the Ryde Respiratory Clinic are operating. They were expecting 300 people a day but it’s empty,’ a woman posted to a local community page.

‘If you are happy to have the AstraZeneca vaccine and are over 50… book!’

The Ryde Respiratory Clinic in Sydney's north was empty on Wednesday despite having 300 bookings for the AstraZeneca jab

The Ryde Respiratory Clinic in Sydney’s north was empty on Wednesday despite having 300 bookings for the AstraZeneca jab

Images of the centre show a large empty room full of plastic chairs designed to hold hundreds of people wanting to be vaccinated.

One attendee took his elderly mother to get her shot and ended up receiving the vaccine himself because of how quiet the facility was.

‘It was very quiet, operating at about 25% capacity, so they did me as well despite being under 70,’ the man said.

‘If you’re in the district and over 50 you can pretty much walk in this arvo as there are dozens of slots available.’

Dozens of others said their local facilities were also empty and that people over 50-years-old seeking the controversial AstraZeneca jab could easily get an appointment or simply walk in.

Others criticised the vaccination system, saying it ‘wasn’t really communicated’ to locals that they could so easily access it.

The mass vaccination centre in Homebush in Sydney's west is yet to open. It plans to inoculate 30,000 people per week

The mass vaccination centre in Homebush in Sydney’s west is yet to open. It plans to inoculate 30,000 people per week 

A small number of blood clotting cases in people having received the AstraZeneca vaccine put a stop to the government’s plans to have the country vaccinated by the end of the year. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to set a date for when every Australian will receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after blood clot fears over the AstraZeneca jab threw the nation’s vaccination program into chaos.

The Federal Government initially set an October deadline to inoculate all people in Australia but Mr Morrison said they were no longer in a position to say when the vaccine program will be completed.

‘The government has… not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,’ he said.

‘While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.’

Morrison has ordered 20 million doses of the American Pfizer vaccine, but the first shipments aren’t expected to arrive until the end of 2021.         

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to set a date for when every Australian will receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after blood clot fears over the AstraZeneca jab threw the nation's vaccination program into chaos

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to set a date for when every Australian will receive their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after blood clot fears over the AstraZeneca jab threw the nation’s vaccination program into chaos





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