Palm Plaza clinic closes

A long line at Palm Plaza pop-up clinic in September. 251071_04 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Palm Plaza pop-up Covid vaccination clinic will be closed from Sunday 19 December.

The clinic will be re-opened in early January at a nearby location, a Monash Health spokesperson said.

“The new Dandenong pop-up clinic site will continue to support the high-demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters.”

Sandown and Cranbourne vaccination clinics will also be shut over the Christmas period from 24 December. They re-open 9am on 4 January.

At the same time, the State Government has urged people to join a pre-Christmas booster shot blitz at Sandown and other state vaccination hubs.

The Palm Plaza walk-up marquee was opened by Monash Health in late September in response to concerns about rising Covid cases and lagging vax rates in Greater Dandenong.

At the time, just over 30 per cent of eligible Greater Dandenong residents and 34 per cent of Casey residents were fully vaccinated.

Both were well behind the state average of 41 per cent.

Three months and 31,000 Palm Plaza vaccinations later, Greater Dandenong’s double vax rate nearly matches the state average of 92 per cent.

The most hesitant postcodes, Dandenong and Doveton, are greater than 85 per cent.

The vaccine-boosting strategy also included pop-ups at community centres and schools, community engagement and a mobile vaccination bus.

At Monash Health, there are 71 Covid-positive patients in hospital, including 13 in intensive care. Twelve are on ventilators.

Over the past five days, Greater Dandenong’s new infections have surged to nearly 50 a day. There are 398 active cases.

“We encourage everyone in the community who is eligible for their COVID-19 booster vaccine to come forward and receive their booster dose as soon as possible to ensure they remain fully protected against this virus,” the Monash Health spokesperson said.