Queenscliff first to reach national vaccine target

(Louisa Jones) 247705_13

By Luke Voogt

Queenscliff has become the first local government area in Australia to reach federal government’s initial COVID-19 vaccination target of 70 per cent.

As of Sunday, 71.8 per cent of people over the age of 15 were fully-vaccinated in the Borough of Queenscliffe, the only municipality to have reached the target at that time.

The 70 per cent target is the threshold for the Commonwealth’s ‘phase B’ or ‘transition phase’ for reopening Australia.

Under phase B, lockdowns are less likely but still possible.

According to federal government, case numbers would be less important in triggering lockdowns under phase B, with states and territories imposing restrictions based on hospitalisation figures instead.

Vaccinated people could also have greater freedoms under phase B than the unvaccinated.

Last week the Independent revealed Queenscliff was leading the nation’s vaccination race due to its ageing population, with older Australians among the first to gain access to COVID-19 jabs earlier this year.

Queenscliff has a median age of 59, with 91.8 per cent of people to have received their first dose – another nation-leading statistic for the borough.

The Surf Coast Shire jumped from third to second in Victoria’s vaccine race as of Sunday, with 56 per cent of its eligible residents fully-vaccinated.

The shire, which has a median age of 42, remained in second place in Victoria for first doses on 79.6 per cent.

The Surf Coast was 22nd in Australia for first doses and eighth for fully-vaccinated residents out of about 400 local government areas for which data is available.

Greater Geelong, which has a median age of 40, was 102nd in Australia for first doses on 70.3 per cent and 65th for fully-vaccinated residents on 46.6 per cent.

The Geelong statistical area level 4 (SA4) including both the Surf Coast and Queenscliff, has the highest percentage of fully-vaccinated residents of Victoria’s larger regions on 47.7.

The Geelong SA4 is second for first doses on 46.6 per cent.