From the Newsroom

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Growing vaccination rates a good sign

While the Australian Government’s most recent geographic vaccination rates show more than 45 percent of eligible North Coast residents have received their first Covid-19 vaccination, compared to 46 percent of the eligible NSW population, and 44 percent Australia-wide, the percentage of eligible North Coast residents who have received their second vaccination is significantly lower.

Less than 20 percent have had their second dose compared to 23 percent of the eligible NSW population and 22.5 percent overall in Australia.

Within the regions, first dose rates include 49.2 percent on the Mid North Coast, 44.4 percent in Coffs Harbour/Grafton, and 42.5 percent in Richmond/Tweed.

More than 195000 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the North Coast, with the region on par with national and state averages.

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said while the second dose rate is “a little bit lower than the NSW and national average”, she revealed it is increasing in line with supply availability.

“It’s also in line with other regional areas in NSW,” she said.

“This may be because in outbreak areas like Sydney, second AstraZeneca doses are being brought forward, so people are getting them more quickly than here.  

“If you’ve had your first dose, please ensure you get your second for maximum protection.” 

The recommended dose interval is 12 weeks for AstraZeneca and three to six weeks for Pfizer.

The interval for AstraZeneca can be shortened in an outbreak area, based on a recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

According to Healthy North Coast, in the week to August 10, over 11000 doses were administered in the Healthy North Coast footprint from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads. 

Ms Sturgess is encouraging people in all areas to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their community.

She said the latest figures are pleasing and demand is still exceeding current supply for the region, showing there is strong support to get vaccinated.  

“It’s great to see our communities getting behind the vaccination program and doing everything we can to protect ourselves and those around us from the threat of this virus,” she said.

“It’s time to keep rolling up our sleeves, keep getting the jab and keep our region safe.”