News Coronavirus Third day without local virus cases in Victoria

Third day without local virus cases in Victoria

victoria virus
The outbreak at the Southbank townhouses was once described as the "most active front" in Victoria's recent outbreaks.
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Premier Daniel Andrews has clarified young Victorians cannot get the AstraZeneca jab at state-run sites, despite changes to the national vaccine rollout.

The federal government agreed to establish an indemnity scheme for COVID-19 vaccines after Monday night’s national cabinet meeting.

It will boost GPs confidence to administer the AstraZeneca jab to willing Australians under 60, given Pfizer remains the vaccine of choice for that group due to extremely rare instances of blood clots.

Mr Andrews welcomed the rollout tweak but noted young Victorians still won’t be able to walk up for their long-awaited shot at mass vaccination hubs across the state.

“It’s part of the Commonwealth exclusive side of this,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

But it could soon be expanded to Victorian-run centres, Mr Andrews said, with the state offered extra AstraZeneca doses on Tuesday night to meet the expected rise in demand.

“It’s not about ‘have we got enough nurses, have got enough physical space?’. They’re not limiting factors,” Mr Andrews said.

“The only limiting factor at the moment is, do we have enough supply to get into as many arms as we can as fast as we can?”

It comes as police patrolling the Victorian-NSW border crackdown on travellers sneaking south of the Murray River.

Some 260 officers are now stationed across Victoria’s northern road crossings, with police using automatic number plate recognition to check vehicles.

While local border residents can still cross freely into Victoria, Sydney and surrounding areas remain red zones and other parts of regional NSW and the ACT have been classified orange zones.

Over the initial days of the road border operation, officers have turned away 53 people – most for coming from a red zone – with just a warning when they didn’t have a valid permit.

But Chief Commissioner Shane Patton indicated patience was running thin, with ineligible travellers set to face a $4957 on-the-spot fine.

“That discretion, that window period, is very rapidly closing. From here on in, you’re going to see much stricter enforcement,” he said on Monday.

This includes helicopters scanning number vehicle number plates on the Hume Highway from Monday and fixed-wing aircraft patrolling the length of the border from mid-week.

The Victorian government has also requested 130 Australian Defence Force personnel to help carry out checks at airports and on close contacts.