AUTHORITIES hope to vaccinate all year 12 students in Victoria before they begin to sit exams in early October.
Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino said the priority for the government is to make sure all year 12 students were vaccinated before exams on October 4.
Mr Merlino said the government wanted all children over 12 to have received one vaccine dose before the end of the year.
Yesterday, the Victorian government announced from today residents aged between 16 and 39 would be able to receive either AstraZeneca of Pfizer at state run vaccination clinics.
VICTORIANS should get COVID-19 tested as soon as they develop any symptoms, as health authorities warn it is a vital step to controlling the outbreak.
COVID-19 response deputy secretary Kate Matson warned some people were waiting as long as eight days after developing symptoms to get a test.
Ms Matson said if Victoria could shorten that interval it would help the state get on top of the outbreak sooner.
She said even vaccinated people should get tested, as they could still pass the virus on to others.
Victoria reported 45 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, nine of which were currently unlinked to other outbreaks.
Only 17 were in isolation while infectious.
Ms Matson said two new cases were from the Hobsons Bay area, while others were from Hume, Melton, Wyndham, the City of Maribyrnong, Moreland, Monash and Glen Eira.
She said other new cases were linked to the MyCentre childcare in Broadmeadows, the Shepparton and Royal Melbourne Hospital Outbreak, Hobsons Bay and Wyndham, Melbourne's central business district and Norht Melbourne, and Glenroy West Primary.
Ten new cases were household contacts of unlinked cases.
A RISE in mystery cases of COVID-19 has health officials worried, despite "extraordinary" numbers of vaccination bookings among under 40s.
Health minister Martin Foley warned the state still had a lot of work to do in its COVID-19 fight, naming as concerns the rise in mystery cases and the number of days people were infectious in the community.
Mr Foley said state clinics had seen "an absolutely extraordinary" number of bookings for vaccines, since the Pfizer vaccine opened to people aged 16 to 40.
It came as Mr Foley warned that the outbreak continued to be worst among young people, with about half of the state's new COVID-19 cases aged under 30.
More than a third of the state's active COVID-19 cases are in people aged under 20, with 114 cases aged under 9 and 101 aged 10 to 19.
Mr Foley said it was fantastic to see so many people wanted to be part of the state's way out of the pandemic through the vaccination program
He urged people to maintain their patience as the state worked through the extraordinary level of interest.
Mr Foley said while it was heartening to see a reduction in new COVID-19 case numbers over the past few days, it was the trend that public health officials would base advice around.
Victoria has recorded 45 new coronavirus cases since Tuesday.
All 45 new COVID-19 cases were locally acquired with 36 linked to current outbreaks and 17 in quarantine during their infectious period..
Tuesday also bought 53,321 test results to Victorians as well as 31,629 vaccinations being administered.
Victoria's active coronavirus case tally now sits at 538.
The numbers come as the state government announces people aged 16 to 39 will be eligible for Pfizer as Victorian authorities become increasingly confident that doses will arrive from today.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it would essentially open the Pfizer program for nearly all Victorians.
"Only one slight caveat on that - 16 and 17-year-olds are not eligible for Astra," he said.
The government has also announced it will open up 830,000 first dose appointments as authorities become increasingly confident it will smash its targets for getting jabs into arms.
More than 41,000 vaccine appointments are up for grabs across the state and Mr Andrews urged people to book in as soon as possible.
Bendigo is continuing to set the pace in the race to get the community vaccinated against the ravages of COVID-19.
Federal government data released on Monday shows 61.1 per cent of people aged 15 and over have received at least their first vaccine, while 38.2 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.
After leading the nation in first doses of vaccine administered early in August, Bendigo now sits behind Geelong (61.4 per cent) within Victoria, as well as Launceston and several locations in Sydney where the ongoing Delta outbreak has prompted large numbers of residents in some areas to seek out vaccinations in record numbers.
Bendigo Community Health Services director of Primary Health Care Services Graem Kelly said these rates were a credit to the community.
"It's great to see people coming forward and seeking to get vaccinated and that has helped us get to the rates we're at," he said.
"BCHS is most pleased with the number of individuals that have even had their second doses of both Pfizer and AstraZeneca."
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