Breaking down barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in Inner East Melbourne

03 December 2021

Two people wearing masks standing next to a table, on which there are bags with items for at-risk people. They are at a pop-up vaccination hub.

healthAbility, in partnership with Access Health and Community and the North East Public Health Unit (NEPHU), has established a service to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for complex and at-risk community members within the Whitehorse, Manningham and Boroondara local government areas.

Known as the Inner East Vaccination Program, the service will seek to provide vaccinations to people with disability or who are homeless, elderly, housebound, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) or refugees. Any other community members that have not yet been able to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of increased barriers to access will also be a focus.

The first pop-up vaccination clinic held today at the community health service healthAbility in Box Hill marks the start of equitable access to vaccination in the Inner East, provided to people in places where they work, play and live.

“We’re very excited to be delivering this service in a setting that is comfortable, flexible and appropriate for their personal situation,” says Olive Aumann, General Manager Mental Health, AOD & Prevention at healthAbility.

Olive continues, “for some people in our community that may be through homelessness or accommodation agencies, mental health services for young people such as headspace, welfare agencies, Foodbanks, rooming houses and community housing. We can also go into the homes of individuals and groups who are housebound.”

Ongoing pop-up clinics in places such as community centres and halls in public and social housing neighbourhoods will also be part of the roll-out plan.

Follow-up services, including second dose vaccinations and, where relevant, boosters will be provided at no cost to people receiving the vaccine.

Through equitable access to COVID-19 vaccinations, we can help keep all people safe in the Inner East.

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