Vic AstraZeneca shots paused for under 50s

·3-min read

Victorians aged under 50 booked to have the coronavirus jab in the next three days are being advised to delay unless it's the Pfizer vaccine.

Health officials say anyone booked for an AstraZeneca shot between Friday and next Monday should reschedule, and the vaccine should not be administered to under-50s until more information and updated consent forms are available from federal authorities.

The AstraZeneca doses are the backbone of Australia's vaccine rollout but have been linked to an extremely rare blood clot side effect.

Victoia's Health Department says the AstraZeneca shot can be administered in certain cases if federal information can be provided and if the benefits of the COVID-19 shots outweigh the risks.

"Appointments should not proceed until these resources are provided," its daily COVID-19 update states.

It adds people who have already had one AstraZeneca dose with no adverse reaction should still receive their second dose as planned.

"This is a dynamic situation and advice can change based on new information," the update says.

Just over 6000 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Victoria on Thursday, making about 137,000 for the state so far.

Also on Friday, the state government announced it will allow sports and entertainment events to run at full capacity from midnight.

It's the first time in about a year venues have been allowed to run at full capacity.

Venues with a capacity of less than 1000 can fill every seat, while bigger venues must apply for consideration under the state's rules for public events.

The new rules apply to theatres, cinemas, music halls, concert halls, auditoriums, galleries, museums and sports facilities.

But a "density quotient" of one person for every two square metres will still apply in areas such as lobbies and people will still have to "check in".

"Designated empty chairs at these venues can now be filled - and that's a big moment for operators who will be able to run at 100 per cent seated capacity," health minister Martin Foley said.

Meanwhile, virus fragments have been detected in sewerage in Melbourne's southeast.

Anyone with symptoms is urged to get tested if they were in Clayton, Clayton South, Dingley Village, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley, Mulgrave, Notting Hill, Springvale, Springvale South and Wheelers Hill between April 4 and 6.

"Fragments of the virus detected in wastewater may be due to a person with COVID-19 being in the early active infectious phase or it could be because someone is continuing to shed the virus after the infectious period," the health department says.

Victoria's hotel quarantine program restarted on Thursday for a third time.

The state hasn't accepted returned travellers since February 13 after workers contracted the UK COVID strain from guests at the Holiday Inn, triggering a statewide five-day lockdown.

Victoria's deadly second wave last year also leaked from hotel quarantine and led to a judicial review and overhaul of the program.

Victoria is aiming to administer 300,000 vaccination doses by May 16.