Victorians line up to get vaccinated at hall of St George Greek Orthodox church in Thornbury


The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) successfully launched a pop-up vaccination hub at the hall of its Greek Orthodox Church of St George in Thornbury over the weekend.

The pop-up hub, which was supported by the Victorian Department of Health, administered both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to the youth and elderly.

Today is the last day to receive your first jab before the hub closes, only to reopen on September 24 and 25 for second doses of Pfizer and September 26 and 27 for second doses of AstraZeneca.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), hub organisers from the GCM had contacted 200 vulnerable people beforehand which they knew “simply weren’t going to be vaccinated” if it wasn’t made easier for them, including people in their 80s.

About one in 70 people in their 60s who have contracted coronavirus in Australia have died from the virus, and many more have fallen gravely ill. But there still remains a notable section of this age group – at least 20 per cent nationwide – who are yet to get their first dose of AstraZeneca despite being eligible since earlier in the year.

GP Magdalena Simonis, who was working at the pop-up vaccination hub in Thornbury on Saturday, told the SMH these low statistics weren’t just because of limited accessibility, but also because much of the reputable government information about vaccines was in English only – a language some don’t fully understand.

READ MORE: Vaccination pop up clinic at St George Hall, Melbourne: What you need to know.

Dr Magdalena Simonis. Photo: Chris Hopkins.

That left them stumbling across misleading information via Google or on social media. Dr Simonis said people who were vaccine hesitant told her their main fear was “dying from a clot.”

“What they are also saying in their circles [is] a few of them are worried about being microchipped,” she told the SMH.

“And some are also worried about the origin of the vaccines and they’ll say it contains embryonic elements derived from aborted fetuses, which of course is not true in either case.”

But for others in line, like teenagers Camille Ibrahim and Kanella Pirpiris, there had only ever been enthusiasm.

Ms Ibrahim, 17, told the SMH she had been driving past on her L-plates with her father when they saw the pop-up centre. Five-minutes later she was vaccinated. Then they called her brother and two friends who were nearby to get vaccinated too.

Once they had got the vaccine, they were proudly sharing the news and pictures to their group chats, making sure the GCM’s vaccination drive was a raging success.

Second doses of the vaccines:

• Pfizer: open Friday 24th & Saturday 25th September 2021.
• AstraZeneca: open Friday 26th & Saturday 27th November 2021.

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