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Low indigenous vaccination rates risk widening the gap in Latrobe Valley and Gippsland

Vaccine hesitancy and testing hesitancy in Victoria's Indigenous communities' risks pushing people further into disadvantage under the Andrews Labor Government's plan to offer more freedoms to people who are fully-vaccinated.

By news@gippsland - 18th October 2021 - Back to News

Geographic data (SA4) from the Australian Government has revealed serious gaps in Victoria's vaccine rollout in Indigenous communities, with the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland regions recording 39.53 per cent double dose and 65.13 per cent. Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Peter Walsh said although Indigenous vaccination rates in inner Melbourne were higher, the rollout elsewhere has been dangerously slow.

Logistical challenges, supply issues, and confusion and hesitancy have played a role in delaying the vaccine rollout to Indigenous communities

Logistical challenges, supply issues, and confusion and hesitancy have played a role in delaying the vaccine rollout to Indigenous communities

Concerns with vaccine hesitancy

Mr Walsh said, "High vaccination rates are the key to protecting ourselves and those around us, particularly vulnerable members of the community. But immunisation is dangerously low in Victoria's Aboriginal communities, which will leave many people exposed as the statewide double dose benchmarks are reached."

"Victoria's roadmap is developed around a 'vaccine economy', with proof of double dose vaccination required to take part in community sport, work as an 'authorised worker', to go to cafes and restaurants and to attend events. If the Andrews Labor Government fails to work with Indigenous communities to address locals' concerns with vaccine hesitancy and testing hesitancy, their roadmap will take away further opportunity." Mr Walsh said.

North west Victoria has the lowest rates in the state, with less than 40 percent of Indigenous people aged 15 and over being fully vaccinated, while 66.86 per cent have received their first dose. It's compared to the region's overall rate of 65.2 percent fully vaccinated. Shepparton, the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland are also barely halfway to the state's overall target of 80 per cent where major freedoms will be offered to those who are double dosed.

Australian Government data on Indigenous vaccination rate

Medicare Address SA4 2016 NameIndigenous individuals received Dose 1Indigenous individuals received Dose 2Indigenous AIR* PopulationIndigenous individuals received Dose 1 (%)Indigenous individuals received Dose 2 (%)
Melbourne - Inner East68451178287.47%65.35%
Melbourne - Inner South9106781,09683.03%61.86%
Melbourne - Inner2,1821,7042,79278.15%61.03%
Melbourne - Outer East1,8371,2192,27280.85%53.65%
Melbourne - North East2,6851,8503,47877.20%53.19%
Warrnambool and South West1,1998151,54077.86%52.92%
Mornington Peninsula1,4339471,87676.39%50.48%
Melbourne - North West1,4999971,99275.25%50.05%
Melbourne - West3,0681,9294,16973.59%46.27%
Melbourne - South East2,4381,4613,24975.04%44.97%
Latrobe - Gippsland2,4861,5093,81765.13%39.53%
North West2,2681,3413,39266.86%39.53%

Pictures from Victorian Aboriginal Health Service -VAHS Facebook page.


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