Demand for jab grows

Yasmin Elhassan, 18, holds a '#jabdone' sticker after receiving her first dose. (Damjan Janevski) 250122_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

The Australian Islamic Centre at Newport has increased its daily vaccinations from 270 to 400 due to demand and has capacity for double that number.

A pop-up hub opened on Tuesday last week at the Blenheim Road site and was originally expected to deliver 270 doses a day from Monday to Friday until September 20.

Last Wednesday, centre manager Taher Elrafihi said extra appointments were released and daily vaccinations increased to 400.

The centre is also open seven days now.

“We have the capacity to do 800,” Mr Elrafihi said.

“It’s the staffing that’s probably holding us a bit back from going to the 800 mark.

“Right now we’ve got everything booked at 400 a day.

“Vaccines are not the issue – it’s having the staff, the admin to be able to keep up.

“Whenever we release appointments, they’re getting booked out straight away so the demand’s there, the vaccine’s are there – it’s mostly just staffing really.”

The pop-up vaccination hub is being run in partnership with Western Health.

Lisa Smith, project director of the West Metro COVID-19 vaccination program, said the vaccination initiative at the centre had been a success.

“The service has been very well received by the community. We’ve had a lot of families coming through,” she said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said there were plans to increase vaccinations at the centre.

“Cultural safety plays an important role in healthcare, which is why we’re working closely with community and faith leaders to set up vaccination clinics in locations trusted by our diverse communities,” the spokesperson said.

“By providing culturally appropriate vaccination services, ensuring bilingual medical staff are on hand and taking vaccines to where they’re needed, we’re doing everything we can to ensure everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine can get one.

“With most appointments at the Newport clinic already booked, we’re working closely with Western Health and community health partners to increase vaccine supply – extending our support for the local community and keeping them safe.”

Bookings for the Australian Islamic Centre can be made at