Bookings for kids’ jabs delayed by IT glitch in Victorian system

Jab bookings for children aged five to 11 have been delayed in the Victorian system after service provider Microsoft advised the state government of a tech issue.

Children aged five to 11 will be able to receive the vaccine from January 10 under Australia’s Covid vaccination program.

The Victorian state system was originally due to open for bookings on Tuesday morning but it’s now expected to open on Wednesday morning following an IT issue.

The chief health officer highlighted the problem in his Covid update on Monday.

“Unfortunately due to an issue with the booking system, bookings for the 5 to 11 age group are not able to open tomorrow for state-run vaccination centres,” professor Brett Sutton said.

“Microsoft are working to implement a solution as fast as possible.

“Online and hotline bookings for this age group will be available later this week.”

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Martin Foley said Microsoft told the government they believed they needed 24 hours to fix the issue.

“We were expecting to open the booking system this morning, we’re now expecting to open it tomorrow morning,” she said.

“There’s absolutely no delay to actual vaccinations, just a delay in being able to book in the system.

“People can also obviously continue to book at the moment via GPs and pharmacies.”

The Pfizer Covid vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 is a smaller dose of vaccine created specifically for the age group.

Research shows the Pfizer vaccine is up to 91 per cent effective in children.

It comes as Victoria reported a huge surge in Covid case numbers with the new daily figure almost doubling to a record high of 14,020 on Wednesday.

More than 94 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have now had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and more than 92 per cent have had two doses. The figures exclude the most recent Commonwealth data.

More than 5.036 million vaccine doses have been administered by Victoria’s state-run services.

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