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High vaccination rate

AROUND 10 per cent of Southern Grampians residents have already received their first COVID-19 vaccination in the first four weeks of the region’s vaccine rollout, but younger people will have to wait after the State Government put AstraZeneca vaccinations on hold for those under 50 for at least two weeks.

Western District Health Service (WDHS) chief executive, Rohan Fitzgerald said the health service had administered 1592 vaccinations so far, with the Southern Grampians having the largest percentage of its population vaccinated in the Barwon South West region.

“To date, an estimated eight per cent of people living in the Southern Grampians have received their jab at WDHS,” he said.

“If you also include vaccinations administered by local GPs, we have achieved a vaccination rate of around 10 per cent in our community, which is outstanding.

“As a comparison, the estimated percentage of the Australian population vaccinated as of April 11 (was) 4.1 per cent.

“Despite some setbacks, the community has come out in force to receive the vaccine. I’d like to thank our staff and partners, including the Hamilton Medical Group, Southern Grampians Shire Council and Casterton and Coleraine medical clinics for supporting what has been a highly successful vaccination program to date.”

Mr Fitzgerald said WDHS had received another 138 AstraZeneca doses this week, which would be administered at the Hamilton Base Hospital today.

However only people aged 50 or older will be able to receive the vaccine, following updated health advice from the state and federal governments.

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