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Adelaide booster jabs postcode puzzle

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The rollout of the third COVID-19 dose in South Australia has again revealed a geographic divide in vaccine takeup, with one Adelaide region lagging behind the statewide average.

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The federal government’s latest local government area vaccination statistics show the northern suburbs of Playford and Salisbury have third dose takeup rates of 65 per cent and 69 per cent respectively.

That’s despite the two council areas – which have a combined over-16s population of nearly 190,000 people – both having double dose vaccination rates above 92 per cent.

Playford ranks last in South Australia for third dose takeup while Salisbury ranks third from last. The only other LGA in the state to have a third dose rate less than 70 per cent is Adelaide Plains District Council (66.4 per cent).

South Australia’s statewide third dose takeup rate for eligible people stands at 74.5 per cent, according to SA Health.

The latest data from the federal Health Department, correct as of July 31, shows that no South Australian LGA has reached 85 per cent third dose takeup for its eligible population.

Victor Harbor, which has a high percentage of elderly residents, boasts the second-highest booster shot rate at 83.6 per cent, followed by Burnside (83.4 per cent), Unley (83.2 per cent), Mitcham (82.8 per cent) and Walkerville (82.4 per cent).

The Barunga West District Council area has the highest third dose rate in the state at 83.7 per cent, although the area only has an over-16s population of around 2100 people.

The state government launched a $2 million advertising blitz in May with the message “double vaxxed isn’t fully vaxxed” in a bid to improve third dose rates across the state.

Playford and Salisbury’s lagging vaccination rates posed a major policy problem for the former Marshall Government last year ahead of South Australia reopening its borders to the COVID-hit eastern states.

Both LGAs fell well short of the former government’s goal of reaching 80 per cent statewide double-dose vaccination before letting COVID-19 into the state. The state government pressed ahead with the November 23 border opening regardless.

SA Health’s latest COVID-19 heat map shows there have been 55,690 confirmed positive cases in Salisbury and 40,722 infections in Playford since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases in Salisbury ranks among the highest in the state, only behind Onkaparinga (66,042 cases) and Port Adelaide/Enfield (61,084).

South Australia today recorded 2860 COVID-19 cases and six deaths. There are currently 337 people in hospital with the virus, including 11 people in intensive care.

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