The Victorian government has set an ambitious target of one million COVID-19 vaccine doses in five weeks, as contact tracers race to discover the source of "concerning" mystery cases in the state.
From Monday, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be available to Victorian adults at the 50 state vaccination hubs, to help reach the goal.
"It is the most important thing to come forward to get vax, to play your part, to protect not just yourself but the people you love the most and give us the freedom all of us want," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Friday.
"One million jabs over the next five weeks are the best way that Victoria can make a contribution, not just to our state's fortunes, but to our national strategy."
Three drive-through clinics will be set up in Melbourne's southeast, southwest and northwest, following the popularity of a site at an old Bunnings warehouse in Melbourne, which opened on Monday.
A new advertisement campaign has also been launched, encouraging Victorians to get vaccinated to "protect themselves, their loved ones, and the entire community".
Mr Andrews said there had been incredibly strong demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine at the nine hubs where it has been available to people aged between 18 and 40 since Monday.
Demand has been slower among people aged in their 50s and 60s, who are currently eligible for both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.
More than 200,000 doses will be administered each week between Monday and September 19, Mr Andrews says, with sites operating with extended hours and an additional 150 vaccination booths.
By the end of September, the premier expects 60 per cent of Victorians will be vaccinated.
"The quicker we get to 70 per cent will mean the quicker we get to 80 per cent and then we're in a different world, one where hopefully lockdowns are not part of everyday living," Mr Andrews said.
It comes as Victoria recorded 15 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, 11 of which are linked to current outbreaks, while the source of the remaining four is under investigation. Eight cases were isolating throughout their infectious period.
The mystery cases are a delivery truck driver who lives in Wyndham Vale, a person in Middle Park and a person in Roxburgh Park, who is possibly linked to a school where an outbreak has recently occurred.
The other case under investigation attends Glenroy West Primary School and may have infected a COVID-positive household contact.
It's the third consecutive day the state has recorded mystery infections, a trend which Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton described as concerning.
"We're looking at all possible linkages - schools, local sites visited in the acquisition period of the 14 days before symptom onset and any workplace connections for those attending on-site work," he said.
There are now more than 400 exposure sites across Melbourne and its urban fringe, including inner-city tram routes, the South Melbourne Market, the Australian Taxation Office building in Moonee Ponds and a VicRoads site in Hoppers Crossing.
Professor Sutton said he expected the list would grow over the coming 24 hours.
There are two people battling COVID-19 in hospital, including one person in intensive care.
Australian Associated Press
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