The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Close cup finish predicted

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A mock competitio­n putting western Victorian towns against each other in a race for COVID-19 vaccinatio­n levels is set to go to the wire.

Authoritie­s were still tallying figures for the COVID Cup when The Weekly Advertiser went to press last night, but confirmed the dash to the line would be close – perhaps even resulting in a photo-finish.

Towns across the region had slipped into the 90 percent double-vaccinated range for people aged 16 and older and suspicions were some might be close to the 100 percent or fully vaccinated mark.

Last week Kaniva had edged past Harrow in what organisers had called ‘the race that starts the nation’, but other towns had been hot on their heels.

‘Chief stipendiar­y steward’ Dr Rob Grenfell from Grampians Public Health Unit and initially involved in Australia’s role in global vaccinedev­elopment efforts, was anxiously awaiting updated figures.

He said regardless of the tallies, he already knew that the Wimmera-mallee response to vaccinatio­n had been outstandin­g.

“We’re doing exceptiona­lly well as a region in getting vaccinated, which is very important as restrictio­ns are further relaxed on Friday,” he said.

“As Melburnian­s start moving across the state there will be more virus outbreaks, but everyone can rest assured that getting vaccinated is the best protection we can have for ourselves and our communitie­s.

“It is still, however, important to maintain all the public health measures we’ve been observing and for those who haven’t yet been vaccinated, there is still time.”

Dr Grenfell said the COVID Cup concept had drawn a fantastic response, not only from the region, but across the state and nationally.

“Since launching the idea we’ve been contacted by and engaged with media organisati­ons and communitie­s across Australia,” he said.

“We’ve been seriously buoyed by the enthusiasm and many towns, especially our near neighbours, have wanted to join the race.”

The Weekly Advertiser will publish the latest COVID Cup tally on its website and in next week’s edition when they come to hand.

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