Mid West a regional leader in COVID vaccination roll-out after slow start

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Member for Geraldton Lara Dalton with Health Minister Roger Cook at the Geraldton Health Campus COVID vaccination clinic.
Camera IconMember for Geraldton Lara Dalton with Health Minister Roger Cook at the Geraldton Health Campus COVID vaccination clinic. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian/Geraldton Guardian

Despite a slow start, the Mid West has emerged as one of the leaders in the race to reach COVID vaccination targets in regional WA.

Latest figures show 90.1 per cent of Mid West residents have had their first COVID jab and 77.1 per cent have received their second dose.

First dose figures are slightly higher than the State average of 87 per cent, and are almost on par with second dose figures of 78.1 per cent.

Vaccination rates in the Goldfields, Gascoyne and the Kimberley regions are significantly lower, with 63.9 per cent, 65.5 per cent and 61.4 per cent of residents fully vaccinated respectively.

Just 45.5 per cent and 44.5 per cent of residents in east and west Pilbara have received two doses of the vaccine.

Wheatbelt vaccination rates are almost on par with Mid West figures, with 74.7 per cent and 79.1 per cent of residents in the region’s north and south fully vaccinated.

Mid West figures are still tailing those in the South West, with 82.5 per cent of residents in the Augusta, Margaret River and Busselton region now fully vaccinated.

About 80 per cent of residents in Bunbury and Albany have received two doses of the vaccine.

Member for Geraldton Lara Dalton said the Mid West statistics were “impressive”.

“I am really impressed with our numbers, I think we have done really well considering we were a bit behind to start with,” she said.

“We have caught up and I am really comforted that people have jumped on board and are doing the right thing in the community.”

Speaking at the State-run vaccination clinic at Geraldton Health Campus on Tuesday, Health Minister Roger Cook said there had been a “great response” to the call to get the jab in the Mid West.

“We have done over 15,000 vaccination doses at this clinic alone and over 35,000 right across the region … and we’d like to thank the community,” he said.

“We know that the best way we can get out of this global pandemic is to make sure everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19 and people have answered the call and are coming here in droves to get themselves jabbed.

“We are well on the way to meeting our targets as we move to the transition period to opening up WA to the rest of the world.”

Nurse Tiny Dickson gives Geraldton resident Jarrod Rodney his second dose of the COVID vaccine.
Camera IconNurse Tiny Dickson gives Geraldton resident Jarrod Rodney his second dose of the COVID vaccine. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian

But Mr Cook said he was still concerned about low vaccination rates among Mid West Indigenous communities, with just 36.3 per cent of Aboriginal people in Geraldton fully vaccinated.

“We are still really concerned about the low vaccination rates in our Aboriginal community because we know they are some of the most vulnerable in the event we do have a large outbreak of the disease,” he said.

“We are out there in the community doing outreach and Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Services were in Mullewa (on Tuesday) speaking with the community, going door to door providing that information they need so people can feel confident about these vaccines.

“It is so important that people take the opportunity to protect themselves, protect their families and protect the community by getting themselves vaccinated.”

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