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Victoria To Accelerate Vaccine Rollout As Pfizer Gap Is Shortened

The time between Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses will be halved to three weeks in Victoria, as the state records 1438 new locally acquired infections and five deaths.

The interval change kicks in from October 4, so anyone who has received their first dose of Pfizer will be able to bring forward their second vaccination.

Changes in the vaccine booking system will be made overnight on October 3.

Victoria has reached the 80 per cent milestone of first vaccine doses for the eligible population.

The landmark comes as another 1438 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and five deaths have been recorded.

"This is more than a 50 per cent increase on yesterday's daily numbers and I'm sure that'll be of great concern to all Victorians," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters.

"We were very clear those numbers would go up, they go up faster, of course, if people don't follow the rules."

He again urged Victorians to stop visiting each other in their homes and breaching public health orders.

The new case numbers brings the total number of active cases in the state to 11,018 and the death toll of the current outbreak to 41.

With lockdown continuing until vaccination milestones are reached, the state and federal governments are extending a jointly funded business grants package for six more weeks.

Up to $2.27 billion for small to medium-sized businesses was announced on Thursday for those most affected by restrictions as Victoria reaches the 70 per cent, then 80 per cent fully vaccinated thresholds, forecast for about October 26 and November 5 respectively.

More than 160,000 businesses will be eligible for the support, ranging from retailers and gyms to hairdressers and hotels - mostly through automatic deposits into their bank accounts.

Also from Thursday, Victorian residents keen to return from extreme risk zones such as Greater Sydney can apply for a permit if they are fully vaccinated, test negative within 72 hours of departure and isolate at home for 14 days.

Those who have been to an exposure site, are close contacts of a COVID-19 case or have symptoms will be knocked back, while non-Victorians are not eligible.

For exposure sites visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites