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South Australia's vaccination divide revealed in five graphs

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A total of 30 local government areas in South Australia will not reach 80 per cent double dose vaccination before the state reopens its borders in 20 days, with Adelaide northern suburbs set to miss the deadline by weeks, according to projections from a local data scientist.

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The model also predicts that the populous northern suburbs areas of Salisbury and Playford will not pass the 80 per cent jab milestone for over-16s until mid-December and early January.

The findings come from a linear regression model constructed by South Australian data scientist Ben Moretti, with the forecasts based on the last 10 weeks of available LGA vaccination data.

It also projects that Playford will be South Australia’s least vaccinated LGA by the November 23 border reopening date, with a predicted double-dose rate of just under 60 per cent for over-16s.

The northern suburbs council area on Sunday reached 51.3 per cent fully vaccinated, compared to the statewide average on the same day of 66.6 per cent.

Neighbouring Salisbury – which in 2019 had an over-15s population of more than 114,000 people – is projected to be around 68 per cent doubled dosed by November 23.

Forecast second dose percentage by LGA for Nov 23

Projected double-dose vaccination rates for each South Australian LGA on November 23, with areas below 80 per cent in orange and those above in blue (Graph: Ben Moretti).

The model also finds that the Karoonda East Murray region in the Murray Mallee will take the longest to reach the 80 per cent milestone, with the district council area not forecast to pass the benchmark until January 11.

Playford (January 7), Adelaide Plains (January 2), the Mid Murray (December 31), Light regional council area (December 27) and Murray Bridge (December 23) are forecast as the next slowest to eclipse 80 per cent.

Further, the model forecasts that 30 of the 53 LGAs in South Australia with vaccination data will not reach the 80 per cent double-dose mark on current pace by November 23.

The projections are based on federal health department LGA statistics, which exclude some remote communities in South Australia due to difficulties obtaining data.

Moretti said of particular concern are the areas with high populations that are forecast to fall short.

Forecast Nov 23 second dose percentage vs LGA population size

Each LGAs projected vaccination rate on November 23 plotted against their population size (Graph: Ben Moretti)

“This chart basically shows you that [LGAs] like Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield, Salisbury, they tend to have high populations around 75,000, 100,000, 125,000 people,” Moretti said.

“For the 23rd of November, their vaccination rates would be, in the case of Playford, around 60 per cent [and] Salisbury would be around 70 per cent.

“You’re going to see that there’s an equity issue here.”

The latest figures from the federal government show 67.3 per cent of South Australians over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, while 82.1 per cent have had at least one dose.

A breakdown of South Australia’s current vaccination figures by area shows a majority of LGAs are currently in-between the 80 and 90 per cent first dose bracket and the 50 and 70 per cent second dose bracket.

Histogram of SA LGAs by current first and second dose vaccination percentage

Histogram representing the number of South Australian LGAs that currently fit within each first and second dose vaccination bracket (Graph: Ben Moretti).

However, a breakdown of where the linear regression model predicts South Australia will be on November 23 shows a majority of LGAs will still be within the 60 and 80 per cent double-dose bracket.

Histogram of SA LGAs by projected Nov 23 second dose vaccination percentage

Histogram representing the number of South Australian LGAs that are projected to fit within each double-dose vaccination bracket on November 23 (Graph: Ben Moretti).

SA Health-commissioned University of Adelaide modelling, released publicly on Monday, projects the state will reach the overall 80 per cent mark on November 29.

“The main concern of mine is the difference between the state rate and then the spread of the LGAs’ rates in terms of their percentages, and the nature of those with a high population and a low vaccination rate by the 23rd of November…” Moretti said.

“[The government] can’t look at the whole of state figure, they need to look at LGA figures, in particular, they need to look at the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged and make sure that they’ve got the highest level of vaccination.”

Projected 80, 90 per cent vaccination dates for 53 SA LGAs

Compilation of graphs showing when all 53 SA LGAs (with vaccination data) are projected to hit 70, 80 and 90 per cent double-dose vaccination. The vertical dotted line represents November 23 (Graph: Ben Moretti).

As of Sunday, Burnside is leading the state’s vaccination race at 82.7 per cent of over-16s double-dosed with Mitcham (79.2 per cent), Holdfast Bay (78.4 per cent), Walkerville 78.4 per cent) and the Adelaide Hills (78.1 per cent) close behind.

Mount Gambier on Sunday eclipsed 95 per cent first dose vaccination, with nearly 73 per cent of over-16s fully vaccinated.

The South East town is one of seven LGAs in South Australia to have now passed 90 per cent single dose vaccination.

“It’s pretty obvious that there’s a link between social disadvantage and vaccination rates,” Moretti said.

“The LGAs which are doing really well are like Burnside, Unley, Adelaide Hills, Adelaide … and at the lower ends of the vaccination rates are ones that have a higher level of disadvantage.

“It’s due to a whole range of factors, things like shift work, casualisation of labour … accessibility to vaccination hubs and demographic spread.”

In a bid to boost the rollout in the northern suburbs, the State Government on Tuesday opened a new seven-day walk-in vaccination clinic at the Munno Para Shopping Centre.

SA Health also this week extended Thursday opening hours at the Playford Civic Centre vaccination hub until 7pm.

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