NT elderly least jabbed
Territory seniors lag far behind nation in vax rate
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.