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September 2021

Lady being vaccinated through her car window jpeg
Wayne Nelson vaccinates Paige Hall at Western Health’s drive-through vaccination clinic at Melton.

Man in his car at drive through accination hub jpeg

Natalie Morris on vaccination duty at Sandown Racecourse.

Drive to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations

Thousands of Victorians are being vaccinated through their car windows at Australia’s first drive-through COVID-19 vaccination hub in Melbourne’s west.

The innovative approach to immunisation at the Melton vaccination hub is expected to become a blueprint for similar sites across the country.

Lisa Smith, the project director at Western Health’s West Metro COVID-19 vaccination program, said the proposal for the drive-through was developed and further refined with the support of the Department of Health and was opened last month.

Even though the Western Health team has experience establishing high-volume and pop-up vaccination hubs across Melbourne, the traffic management logistics of the new site, and consideration of Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation guidelines specific to drive-through services, were key inclusions in the new service.

‘A phenomenal amount of effort has been put into establishing Australia’s first drive-through COVID vaccination site and the response from our community in Melbourne’s west has been incredible,’ Ms Smith said.

After booking their appointments online or via the phone, drivers and passengers are screened for eligibility and symptoms at the drive-through entry.

They proceed in batches of six cars to an identification check-in point.

After receiving their vaccination, they are required to wait in their car while nurses observe them for 15 minutes.

The site is fully prepared in the unlikely event of an adverse event following vaccination.

Within 24 hours of launching, the drive-through service was booked out for up to four weeks in advance.

More than 400 people were vaccinated against coronavirus on its first day with numbers increasing as the processes were refined and more bookings added.

The drive-through began administering the Pfizer vaccine only but now includes the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Melton hub has also expanded to offer sit-down vaccinations for both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

Drive-through clinics have also opened at the Sandown Racecourse in Springvale, the former Ford factory in Broadmeadows and at the Eagle Stadium in Werribee.

The Monash Health Sandown drive-through vax clinic did 735 vaccinations during its first two days.