Victorian vaccine hotline crashes as people hurry to get COVID-19 jab bookings

The Victorian COVID-19 vaccine hotline has crashed as more than 17,000 people received the jab in the last 24 hours.
A recorded message advises callers looking to book in for the jab that the line is “congested” and to call back later.
Just moments after Acting Premier James Merlino announced a statewide snap lockdown yesterday the coronavirus hotline crashed, but bookings were still able to made and vaccine sites were swamped.
The Department of Health said the phone hotline received more than 77,000 calls in a 15-minute window.
The high demand for vaccinations comes as Victorians over 40 become eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine from today.
In the last 24 hours, 17,223 jabs have been administered across the state.
Over the past few days, vaccination rates have significantly climbed as the state braced for another bout of heavy restrictions amid a growing cluster in Melbourne’s north.
Queues at coronavirus testing sites started forming early this morning as Victoria woke to its first day of a seven-day snap lockdown.
This morning saw major sites like the Melbourne Showgrounds and Albert Part with huge queues to get tested in the early hours of the morning as contact tracers work around the clock to understand where the virus has spread.
To book in for a coronavirus vaccine, Victorians can call the vaccine hotline on 1800 571 121.