Wait for vaccinations


Tara Murray

Six Brimbank postcodes have been included in a state government vaccination blitz targeting 100 priority postcodes across the state.

On Sunday, the government announced that it was launching a community pop-up vaccination program targeting the suburbs that need vaccines the most.

In Brimbank, the 3020, 3021, 3023, 3037, 3038 and 3043 postcodes have been included in the blitz.

Five community-based pop-ups and eight school-based pop-ups were announced as initial vaccine hubs and will administer jabs over the next two weeks. The location of Brimbank’s pop-up clinics has yet to be announced.

It comes as many Brimbank residents took to social media in recent days to report long waits for a vaccination appointments.

Some residents said they are having to wait until at least October to get an appointment in the local area, while others are travelling to Melton, the showgrounds in Flemington and Werribee to get vaccinated sooner.

Brimbank remains one of the lowest vaccinated areas in the state, with just 51.5 per cent of people having their first dose, and 29.2 per cent fully vaccinated, as of September 6.

There are two state-run clinics in Brimbank- one run by Western Health and one by IPC Health in Deer Park – while a number of chemists and GPs are also rolling out the vaccine.

The municipality had 113 active cases of COVID-19 as of Monday.

Western Health nursing manager Donald Johnson said the health service has seen an increase in vaccination numbers at the Sunshine Hospital since more people had become eligible for the vaccine.

IPC Health chief executive Jayne Nelson said the organisation remained committed to supporting the community and improving vaccine delivery in Brimbank. She said IPC Health planned to have more appointments available once vaccine availability increased.

“We are working closely with the Department of Health, Western Health, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) and Brimbank city council in the delivery of vaccinations to the Brimbank community, with a particular focus on improving access for people who may not be able to, or may not feel comfortable with, mainstream vaccination services.

“IPC Health has been engaging with local community groups in Melbourne’s west, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Sudanese, Samoan, Burmese and Karen communities. “We have also developed and implemented several outreach engagement and vaccination opportunities for residents living in high risk accommodation such as rooming houses, public and community housing, shared residential services, caravan parks and residential disability settings and other identified priority groups.”