Victoria’s acting premier Jacinta Allan announced the expansion of the state’s vaccination program in a press conference on Wednesday morning, as Covid cases surge across the country.

From next Monday, Victorian children aged five to 11 will be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Bookings at state-run vaccination centres will be accessible from 1pm today via the state government’s website or by calling the hotline on 1800 675 398. Eligible children can also be vaccinated at local GP clinics and pharmacies.

“By getting your child vaccinated, you are providing them with direct protection against Covid-19 and reducing the risk of transmission to loved ones and in schools,” Allan said in a statement.

The news comes as the state recorded 17,636 new cases of coronavirus.