North Coast Vaccination Rates Continue To Rise

For information on when and where to book a vaccine go to the Department of Health website.


HAVE you had yours?

First jab or second jab?

What did you get?

These are questions we are all asking each other.

Data released by Healthy North Coast (HNC) on August 29 reflects that North Coast COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to rise.

Sixty percent of those eligible to receive their first dose now have and thirty two percent have had their second.

For first doses, the North Coast is below the NSW average of sixty seven percent but above the Australia wide average of fifty eight percent.

For second doses, North Coast COVID-19 vaccination rates are below the statewide average of thirty six percent and the Australian average of thirty four percent.

The number of first dose recipients is highest in the Port Macquarie-Hastings, Bellingen, Ballina and Nambucca local government areas (LGAs), falling into the sixty to seventy percent band.

In the LGAs of Tweed, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Lismore, fifty to sixty percent of residents have received their first vaccine dose.

The figure is forty to fifty percent in the Byron Shire.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said additional supplies of the Pfizer vaccine due in September should see vaccination rates rise significantly.

“North Coast rates of vaccination reflect the currently available dose supply,” Ms Sturgess said.

“For example, the Byron LGA has had a limited allocation compared to some other parts of our footprint,” she said.

She expects this to change later this month with increased supply for all LGAs.

“In the past week, the forecast has again increased with more than fifty thousand additional Pfizer vaccines expected to be available across northern NSW from mid-September to the end of October.

“At the same time, the Mid North Coast will receive more than sixty thousand extra Pfizer doses.”

As the vaccine eligibility criteria widens, HNC reminds people to be patient, respectful and kind with service providers doing their best to keep up with appointment requests while having an under supply of vaccines.

Some medical practices have put on extra staff to cope with up to one thousand phone calls a day from people wanting a vaccination appointment.

Those practices are striving to help everyone and have asked for the public to be patient if they can’t get through.

Ms Sturgess said the strong demand for vaccinations had been fuelled by the opening of eligibility to all people aged sixteen to thirty nine for the Pfizer jab.

Children aged twelve to fifteen will also be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine from 13 September, further increasing demand.

“Although demand currently outstrips supply, by October we’ll have more than twice as many weekly doses available to our communities,” Ms Sturgess said.

Ms Sturgess stressed the importance of booking your vaccine appointment, even if it might be several weeks in advance.

“As we wait for increased supply of Pfizer vaccines to our region, we would like to remind those people wishing to get their jab as soon as possible that there is a plentiful supply of AstraZeneca, and most people can get an appointment within a few days,” she said.

“AstraZeneca is the recommended vaccine for Australians over sixty and is licensed for use in all patients aged eighteen and over.

“Seek advice from your GP if you’re concerned about receiving AstraZeneca.

“Later this month, an additional seventy general practices will be delivering Pfizer vaccine as well as AstraZeneca.

“This will increase access to local GPs to book appointments and get protected from COVID-19.”


By Sandra MOON

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