Vaccine uptake at Royal Exhibition Building remains sluggish

Katie Johnson

The Royal Exhibition Building’s vaccination hub was a ghost town when Inner City News visited in late July, with only a handful of people lined up to get their COVID shots.

Since it opened on March 28, the hub has been administering an average of 100 to 200 AstraZeneca shots a day, well below the numbers seen at mass vaccination hubs overseas.

Twenty-six-year-old Jessica was on her way out of the building after receiving the vaccine and said the process to walk in had been “very easy”.

“I was a walk-in today and I didn’t have to wait at all, I just went straight up and they asked me a couple of questions about my eligibility and before the vaccine the nurse explained everything that was going to happen,” Jessica said.


Afterwards I was asked to wait about 15 minutes to be observed and also book my second dose, but the whole process took less than 30 minutes.


Jessica said that young people should be getting the vaccine not only to protect themselves but the whole community.

“The science is very clear on why we should all get vaccinated, I think we really need to make sure the information we are receiving is from reliable sources and what the right thing to do it,” she said.   

Donavan Smith had booked to receive his second dose of the AstraZenaca vaccine and said there had been “no delays at all”.

“I wanted to feel confident going back out into society and not worry about getting sick,” Mr Smith said.

Lucy Rose said she was getting the vaccine because “there was no microchips in it”.

“I’d like to protect people who are more vulnerable than me and I think if everyone gets vaccinated, we can start living a bit more normally,” Ms Rose said.

“My mum is one of the vulnerable ones and I’d like to be around her, so we need Scomo to roll it out quicker.” •

Caption: Jessica after her first AstraZenaca shot.

Caption: Vaccine line-up on July 23.

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