Royal Exhibition Building buzzing after Pfizer announcement

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Katie Johnson

The Royal Exhibition Building’s state-run vaccination hub was teaming with people after the state government’s announcement that the Pfizer vaccine would be available to people aged between 16 and 39 years from August 31.

Thirty-year-old Margaret was among the crowd who had just received the Pfizer vaccine when Inner City News approached her.

“I’m really glad I made a move to get the jab because I want to travel home to see my family in Germany so that’s a big incentive for me,” she said.

“I was so nervous for the needle, it took me six months to work up the courage.”

Cody had also just received her second Pfizer jab and was feeling good, but said the process was a lot slower in comparison to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“There’s a shortage of Pfizer vaccines here so that seems to be why it’s slower, but I’m so happy to be fully vaxxed now.”

Aaron was also on his way out of the Royal Exhibition building after attempting to receive the vaccine, but hadn’t been so lucky.

“I came here to get Pfizer because it’s impossible to get a booking anywhere in Melbourne for six weeks so I attempted to walk in, and waited out the front for an hour to no avail, Aaron said.

“I really just want to get it done so we can all move on with our lives.”

As the state-run vaccination hubs struggle to keep up with demand, the City of Melbourne is offering $100,000 worth of prizes to incentivise more Melburnians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The latest initiative to help keep Melbourne open comes amid the federal government 80 per cent vaccination rate target, which it has said will be required in order to ease restrictions, end lockdowns and open up overseas travel.

The council’s own vaccination push kicked off on radio on August 16 and was followed by the launch of a social media campaign offering the chance to win a prize-a-day with a total prize pool valued at $100,000.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said now was perhaps the most dangerous time to be unvaccinated and urged Melburnians to come out in record numbers to get the jab.

“We want to thank and reward Melburnians who have already been vaccinated and provide those who haven’t with a bit of extra motivation so the city can re-open and stay open,” Cr Capp said.

“I want Melbourne to be the most vaccinated city in Australia because it is the only pathway to confidence.”

The campaign is designed to motivate more people to get vaccinated with 10 $5000 “Melbourne Experience” packages up for grabs through a two-week radio promotion.

Part two of the campaign asks people to share their vaccine hero stories and what they’re looking forward to when Melbourne opens again, with the chance to win a prize valued at $1000 every day for six weeks.

The $5000 Melbourne experience prize packages include a $1250 Emporium voucher, $1000 Melbourne Central voucher, $250 Endota Spa voucher, $1000 accommodation voucher, $500 dining voucher, and four Frozen the Musical tickets valued at $1000.

The campaign will run for eight weeks from August 16 •

Caption: Margaret and Aaron had very different experiences at the Royal Exhibition Building.

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