By Luke Voogt
More than half of Geelong’s population is now fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 with neighbouring Queenscliff continuing to lead Australia’s immunisation race.
Greater Geelong reached 50.7 per cent of people 15 and over fully-vaccinated on Sunday, ranking 71st out of more than 400 local government areas (LGA) in Australia.
The municipality also reached 76.1 per cent of people to have received first doses, 95th nationwide, according to federal health data released on Monday.
Based on the increase over the past fortnight, greater Geelong appears likely to hit the first of federal government’s thresholds for reopening, 70 per cent, in the second week of October.
At 70 per cent lockdowns are less likely but still possible, with eased restrictions on vaccinated people.
Queenscliff continues to lead the nation in both first doses and fully-vaccinated residents on 95.9 and 76.6 per cent respectively.
Based on current rates the Borough of Queenscliffe should become the first municipality to reach federal government’s 80 per cent threshold to reopen in less than a week.
With 80 per cent of Australia’s population vaccinated “generalised-lockdowns” will end, with only “highly-targeted” lockdowns in vulnerable communities, according to federal government.
The Commonwealth will abolish caps on returning vaccinated travellers and allow vaccinated Australians to visit other vaccinated nations.
The Surf Coast Shire is second in Victoria for both first and second doses, on 85.4 and 59.8 per cent respectively.
The shire ranks 22nd and 10th for first and second doses nationwide, and is on track to reach 70 per cent in the first week of October or earlier.
And younger locals are also rolling up their sleeves, with Barwon Health on Wednesday promoting the efforts of Geelong 12-year-old Mitchell.
“I got vaccinated so I can help to protect my family and friends and get life back to normal. If everyone gets vaccinated we won’t have to have any more lockdowns,” Mitchell said.
“I want to be able to get back to school, playing footy, basketball and have friends over again. I also want to go to New Zealand to see my grandparents and cousins.
“It didn’t hurt and the nurse was really nice so I’m so glad I got it done.”