11 new local COVID-19 cases in Victoria, cluster now at 26; Melbourne on edge of new COVID-19 lockdown; New exposure sites listed; NSW on alert; Long queues at Melbourne virus testing clinics

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Cervices, Richard Colbeck says health authorities “make no apologies” for prioritising aged care residents over the staff who work in those facilities in getting the coronavirus vaccine.

Dr Colbeck said 29 aged care facilities in Victoria yet to receive their doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be prioritised in light of the current Melbourne outbreak.

“There’s about 600 facilities that the Commonwealth has responsibility for in Victoria. Twenty-nine of those are left to be done,” Dr Colbeck told Today.

“They were programmed to be done this week or next week, so we’ll get those finalised as quickly as we can.

“If you look at the statistics, the people that are the most vulnerable are the residents and that is why we have and should prioritise them.

“It was a tragedy in Victoria last year, we lost 655 residents of aged care – they’re the ones that are vulnerable, so that is why we have prioritised them. We make no apology for doing that.”

Dr Colbeck said the average vaccination rate for aged care across Australia was 85 per cent and health authorities are offering those who have declined vaccination a second chance to receive the vaccine.

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