Shepparton News

CLOSING IN ON VACCINE TARGET

THERE ARE 5000 ELIGIBLE PEOPLE STILL TO HAVE THEIR FIRST COVID-19 JAB IN GREATER SHEPPARTON

- By ROSA RITCHIE

The countdown is on.

There are 5000 eligible people yet to have their first dose of a COVID19 vaccine in City of Greater Shepparton, as the region races toward its vaccine targets.

Goulburn Valley Health chief executive Matt Sharp said he wanted the whole community to have the best possible protection from the virus.

‘‘The only way to do this is for the remaining unvaccinat­ed people in greater Shepparton to get the jab done,’’ he said.

Mr Sharp said GV Health would use mobile clinics to reach members of the community who, for whatever reason, hadn’t visited a vaccine hub, clinic or pharmacy.

Of the 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in Victoria detected in the week to October 5, 79 per cent were unvaccinat­ed.

During the same time period, 87 per cent of those newly-infected people were eligible for vaccinatio­n.

Encouragin­gly, GV Health COVID-19 vaccinatio­n program medical lead Helen Roberts said the the vaccine rollout was still gaining steam.

‘‘This week is on track to be up there with one of our busiest weeks of the program,’’ she said.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keefe said it was essential to get vaccinated to return to community life.

‘‘We want to see our businesses back open,’’ she said, adding vaccines were the best way to combat rising case numbers.

‘‘I’m missing my family and friends and missing having people at my home, but we need to keep doing the right thing.’’

The GV Public Health Unit has administer­ed close to 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the rollout started.

More than 3000 doses were administer­ed in the four days from October 4 and about 60 per cent of those were second doses.

At least 1000 vaccine doses have been administer­ed on board Jabba the Bus since the mobile vaccine clinic took off and a second, yet-tobe-named, vaccinatio­n vehicle is set to launch in the coming days.

The region’s first dose rate is 89 per cent and 52 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

There are 119 COVID-19 cases active in the community, as of yesterday.

Ten of those cases are among the First Nations community in the City of Greater Shepparton.

Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperativ­e is offering COVID-19 testing and vaccines and chief executive Felicia Dean encouraged her community to visit the Mooroopna clinic.

She said Rumbalara staff was happy to answer any questions about the virus or the vaccinatio­n process.

A vaccine van from the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled

Health Organisati­on will visit Shepparton on October 18 with its own team and Ms Dean said this would add value to the progress at Rumbalara.

Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and pharmacist John Anderson highlighte­d the work done by medical practices and pharmacies participat­ing in the rollout.

He said clinics and chemists were environmen­ts well-suited to people who felt hesitant about getting vaccinated.

● To make a booking at a state-run hub visit portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 675 398. To find a pharmacy or GP offering the vaccine near you, visit covidvacci­ne.healthdire­ct.gov.au

 ?? Picture: Rodney Braithwait­e ?? Team effort: Goulburn Valley Health COVID-19 vaccinatio­n program medical lead Helen Roberts, chief executive Matt Sharp and vaccinatio­n program manager Alynda Wayman.
Picture: Rodney Braithwait­e Team effort: Goulburn Valley Health COVID-19 vaccinatio­n program medical lead Helen Roberts, chief executive Matt Sharp and vaccinatio­n program manager Alynda Wayman.

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