Plea to lift vax rate in region

NOW is the time to get vaccinated with everyone over 12 now able to access the Moderna jab.

With the Derwent Valley, Central Highlands and Southern Midlands lagging behind, the Derwent Valley Gazette is getting behind calls for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

Although rates are improving, the region sits close to the bottom of the vaccination chart.

First vaccination rates for the Derwent Valley currently sit at 66.1 per cent, the fifth least vaccinated region in Tasmania, with 49.8 per cent having received their second vaccine dose, up from 63.9 per cent and 46.4 per cent on the previous week.

The Central Highlands has seen an increase from 61.3 per cent to 64.6 per cent and 41.5 per cent to 44.8 per cent in the same time period, the third lowest region in Tasmania.

The Southern Midlands has seen a rise from 63.7 per cent to 65.5 per cent in first dosages in the last week, and from 43.7 per cent to 48 per cent in second doses, the fourth lowest region in Tasmania.

This month there is greater opportunity for locals to get jabbed, with a pop-up clinic opening at Ouse on October 18 at the Community Health Centre and another clinic at the New Norfolk District Hospital on October 20 and 21.

Speaking to the Derwent Valley Gazette, Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff emphasised the importance of vaccines to Tasmania.

“The continuing situation on the mainland is a reminder of just how important this is and I’d encourage anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to book in,” Mr Rockliff said.
“I’d like to thank the many Tasmanians who have rolled up their sleeves and had their jabs, vaccination remains one of the best ways to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community. If you have any questions, please speak to your health professional.”

Labor leader Rebecca White echoed Mr Rockliff’s call.

“Vaccination is critical to keeping yourself, your family and your community safe,” she told the Gazette.
“I urge everyone to book an appointment with the Public Health Hotline, your local GP or the local pharmacy.”

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw urged all residents to get their vaccinations.”

“I understand it’s been difficult for local residents to get the vaccine but it’s extremely important to keep our community and our families safe,” Mr Shaw said.

Derwent MLC Craig Farrell also backed the vaccine.

“I’ve had both my AstraZeneca with no adverse effects, I didn’t even notice the needle and I encourage everyone to do the same,” Mr Farrell said.
“When you circulate in the region and to Hobart as much as do, it was important I got my jab early.”

As well as vaccine clinics, vaccinations are available at local pharmacies and GPs, and can be found using the Vaccine Clinic Finder, on the Australia Department of Health website.

You can book your vaccination at: covid-19-vaccination/book-your-vaccine.