Sunday Territorian

NT elderly least jabbed

Territory seniors lag far behind nation in vax rate

- THOMAS MORGAN POLITICAL REPORTER

THE Northern Territory has the lowest rate of vaccinatio­n against Covid-19 among the elderly, federal data shows.

Only 77.9 per cent of Territoria­ns aged 70 and over have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccinatio­n, ranking last of any state and territory and well behind the national average of 88.5 per cent.

Of Territoria­ns aged 95 and older, only 55 per cent have had at least one dose.

The figures are troubling given the higher risk of serious illness and death from Covid-19 among older generation­s, especially if unvaccinat­ed.

The federal government is responsibl­e for the vaccine rollout to aged care, and the commonweal­th’s health department has spun the NT’s lagging rate as a positive.

“More than 77 per cent of those over 70 in the Northern Territory have received at least their first dose of a vaccinatio­n,” the department said in a statement.

“The recent outbreaks of the infectious Delta Covid-19 strain means it’s even more important that Australian­s over 60 get vaccinated right now.

“Being vaccinated doesn’t just protect you, but it protects your loved ones as well.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg

Hunt and chief medical officer Paul Kelly are expected to write to unvaccinat­ed Australian­s aged 60-69 pushing them to have the jab, in the latest sign outbreaks in Victoria and NSW have created a sense of urgency in the rollout.

The NT government said 3528 vaccines doses had been administer­ed by the commonweal­th in aged care.

NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said her department was working to get seniors vaccinated.

“It is imperative that we get our senior Territoria­ns vaccinated – as they are some of the most vulnerable in our community,” Ms Fyles said.

“While the commonweal­th government is responsibl­e for administer­ing the Covid-19 vaccine to people in aged care homes, we will continue to work with them to help get all our senior Territoria­ns vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

According to NT Health, two-thirds of Territoria­ns have had at least one dose and almost 50 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

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