First shopping centre-based vaccination hub opens in Melbourne

Melbourne’s Bayside Shopping Centre has become Victoria’s first shopping centre-based vaccination hub, and expects it to give easy access to COVID-19 vaccines for 500,000 local residents.

“We are pleased to have opened the Frankston Community Vaccination Hub at Bayside Centre, where we are able to provide this important service in a central, easy to access location to our community,” Peninsula Health executive director of operations, Helen Cooper, said.

The temporary clinic is taking up 2900 sqm of unused space, and is part of an Australia-wide agreement between Vicinity Centres and state governments – indicating more centre-based vaccination hubs could be on the way.

On Monday, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant hinted that Tuesday’s conference would announce a move toward mass vaccination hubs – something made possible with ATAGI’s decision to recommend Sydneysiders aged 18+ to utilise the state’s vast stockpiles of AstraZeneca after political pressure and a worsening situation.

And retail staff have been given priority treatment in receiving vaccinations, with SDA members working at Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Metcash sites given priority access to available Pfizer doses.

“This is a significant breakthrough in protecting the health of frontline retail workers ensuring the community retains access to the essentials of life during the protracted lockdown in Australia’s biggest city,” SDA said.

“[However,] the Commonwealth and State Governments must now recognise the essential work of all supermarket and warehouse workers. They have done an incredible job on the frontline of the pandemic, working day in and day out to keep up an essential service.”

This story first appeared on our sister publication Inside FMCG