Pause on COVID-19 vaccine lifted for eligible under 50s


Victoria's pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine for eligible people aged under 50 will be lifted from Wednesday.

The halt on administering the vaccine came after advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), following blood clotting concerns linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Sunday, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley revealed shoring up indemnity for GPs who give the vaccine was among several factors that allowed the government to remove the pause on the AstraZeneca for eligible people under the age of 50.

"By Wednesday, our health professionals will have everything they need to administer AstraZeneca to eligible Victorians of all ages and they will continue to do so to the highest standards of safety and quality," Mr Foley said.

Mr Foley also said Victorians who were eligible under phases 1a and 1b of the rollout would be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at three of Victoria's vaccination centres from Wednesday.

They are located at the Royal Exhibition Building, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the former Ford factory in Geelong.

Mr Foley said the move provides more options, especially for older Victorias, who can book but also walk in without an appointment.

"While this expansion provides more options for Victorians over the age of 70, it's expected most people in this category will continue to receive it locally with their trusted GP - that's something we're pleased to encourage," he said.

Acting Premier James Merlino said last week the pause on AstraZeneca was due to three concerns.

They included consumer information from the commonwealth being translated in languages other than English, compulsory education for health staff and a resolution to indemnity issues.

Mr Foley said these issues had now resolved, with more workforce training and further consumer information now available.

Originally published as Pause on COVID-19 vaccine lifted