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Northern suburbs vax rate lags below 45 per cent

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The northern suburbs region of Playford is still more than 15 percentage points behind the statewide average vaccination rate and at its current pace will not reach the 80 per cent double dose vaccination milestone until early January, according to the latest federal government data.

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As of Sunday, just 43.2 per cent of Playford residents over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, compared to the state-wide vaccination rate of 58.7 per cent measured on the same day.

Since the Federal Government first started publishing weekly LGA vaccination data on August 28, Playford’s double dose rate has only been growing by an average of 3.01 per cent a week.

At that rate, it will take just over 12 weeks for the northern suburbs LGA to make the crucial 80 per cent double dose vaccination mark on January 11.

That’s despite South Australia being likely to hit an average 80 per cent mark in the first week of December, a milestone Premier Steven Marshall insisted last week would be crucial to ensuring South Australians enjoy a “very normal Christmas”.

South Australia is today set to pass 60 per cent double dose vaccination for over-16s, while Australia has now reached 70 per cent of the same cohort fully vaccinated.

The continually lagging figures in the northern suburbs come as South Australian authorities prepare to reveal a COVID-19 exit roadmap “within days” following the completion of modelling from the Doherty Institute measuring how the state’s health system will cope with an influx of cases from the eastern states.

Epidemiologists have also previously raised concerns that lower vaccination rates in the northern suburbs could lead to “huge pockets of infections” once South Australia opens its borders.

Playford, which covers suburbs such as Angle Vale, Davoren Park and Elizabeth, has an over-15s population of more than 72,000 people, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Nearly 62 per cent of over-16s in the area have received a first dose of a vaccine as of Sunday, compared to 76.2 per cent state-wide on the same day.

Similarly, the nearby council area of Salisbury – South Australia’s second most populous LGA with an over-15s population of more than 110,000 people – only just passed the 50 per cent double dose vaccination mark for over-16s on Sunday.

Since August 28, Salisbury has had an average weekly growth rate for double dose vaccinations of 3.43 per cent, meaning on current pace it will not reach the 80 per cent mark until December 18.

At the other end of the spectrum, Burnside is leading South Australia’s vaccination race with 75.8 per cent of over-16s fully vaccinated and 90.6 per cent having received at least one dose.

Close behind are Mitcham (71.9 per cent fully vaccinated), Walkerville (71.7 per cent two doses), Holdfast Bay and Victor Harbour (both 71.1 per cent fully vaccinated) and Unley (70.7 per cent fully vaccinated).

Mount Gambier has the highest first dose vaccination rate in South Australia, with 91.6 per cent having received at least one jab and 60.4 per cent in the southeastern town fully vaccinated.

The State Government on Tuesday announced it would be launching a “Super Walk-in weekend” vaccination program at 15 clinics across the state this weekend – two of which are located in Playford and Salisbury.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said the State Government “hope(s) the Super Walk-in weekend will help to boost vaccination rates in areas with lower vaccination uptake, including the northern suburbs”.

“There has never been an easier time to get vaccinated and I encourage everybody to roll up their sleeve and protect themselves, their loved ones and the community,” he said.

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