Trail-blazing Sydney suburb hits freedom milestone vaccination mark

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A Sydney council is the first in Australia to hit the vital 70 per cent double dose vaccination milestone with Ku-ring-gai blazing the trail to the magical landmark.

The 70 per cent double-jab rate is the key to opening the door to restored freedoms across New South Wales once the whole state reaches the crucial percentage point. 

Ku-ring-gai in Sydney’s north is the first local government area in the country to hit 71 per cent, but several more city councils are close behind, with many only days away.

The leafy LGA stretches from national park bushland in the north to sprawling upmarket mansions around Pymble, Linfield and Frenchs Forest.

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The Hills Shire in the city’s north-west is next closest with 67.6 per cent of the adult population double-jabbed, according to the latest NSW Health figures.

Mosman and Hornsby on the North Shore are both on 66.6 per cent double-dose jabs, while well-heeled Woollahra in the Eastern Suburbs is on 66.5 per cent.

Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s south is also closing in on 70 per cent, with 62.6 per cent double-vaccinated, while the Northern Beaches has just hit 60.0 per cent.

But while the posh suburbs on the coast and on the city’s outskirts are leading the way in NSW, Sydney’s inner city areas are lagging way behind.

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The rollout of the vaccination program which initially targeted older residents has meant suburbs with a younger demographic profile have fallen behind. 

Three key suburbs are still struggling to catch up with the rest of the city, and have yet to even reach 50 per cent double dose vaccination as a result.

The City of Sydney itself, taking in the CBD, is currently the worst double-dose vaccination rate area in the city with just 46.1 per cent adults double dosed, although many council areas in regional NSW also have similar numbers.  

Cumberland to the City’s west, which covers suburbs including Auburn, and Covid hotspots like Guildford and Merrylands and parts of Fairfield, has 48.5 per cent.

Bayside area in Sydney’s south-east, covering Brighton-Le-Sands and parts of Kogarah, is also struggling to keep up with the rest of the city, with the double-jabbed rate currently standing at 48.7 per cent.

Elsewhere pockets of Sydney’s outskirts are leading the way when it comes single-dose vaccination rates, where more than 90 per cent residents are already fully jabbed.  

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 Schofields in the city’s north-west and Edmondson Park in the south-west head the list where more than 90 per cent of eligible residents have already rolled up their sleeves for both doses, double the current state average of 46.5 per cent.

The 2302 postcode of Newcastle West north of Sydney has also achieved the impressive feat, followed by Lord Howe Island off the NSW mid north coast with 80-89 per cent. 

The next best Sydney area is the 2765 postcode, which covers Berkshire Park, Box Hill, Maraylya, Marsden Park, Nelson, Oakville, Riverstone, Vineyard with a 70-79 per cent vaccination rate.

NSW POSTCODES WITH HIGHEST FIRST DOSE VACCINE RATES

1.  2762, Schofields, 90 per cent + fully vaccinated 

2. 2174, Edmondson Park, 90 per cent +

3. 2302, Newcastle West, 90 per cent +

4. 2898, Lord Howe Island, 80-89 per cent

5. 2765, Berkshire Park, Box Hill, Maraylya, Marsden Park, Nelson, Oakville, Riverstone, Vineyard, 70-79 per cent

6. 2899 Norfolk Island, 70-79 per cent 7. 2179 Austral, Leppington

7. 2153, Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista, Winston Hills, 60-69 per cent

8. 2113 East Ryde, Macquarie Park, North Ryde, 60-69 per cent

9. 2030, Dover Heights, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, 60-69 per cent

 

A host of postcodes across Sydney are in the 60-69 per cent fully vaccination bracket, from Austral and Leppington in the south-west to Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista, Winston Hills in the north-west to the ritzy suburbs of Dover Heights, Vaucluse and Watsons Bay in the east.

At the other end of the scale, Silverwater in the west is Sydney’s worst performing postcode with just 10-19 per cent of the population fully-vaccinated.

The inner-city suburbs of Chippendale and Darlington are also lagging behind with a 20-29 per cent double dose rate.

Badgerys Creek in the south-west also has some work to do to boost its 20-29 per cent double vaccination rate, despite being surrounded by postcodes with more than 90 per cent vaccination rates.

On the Central Coast, postcodes leading the way include the 2083 postcode of Brooklyn and surrounding suburbs, where 60-69 per cent of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated.

Also with more than half of its population fully vaccinated are postcodes 2260 (including Terrigal and Erina Heights) and 2251 (Avoca Beach).

In terms of local government areas, Ku-ring-gai Council in Sydney’s north leads the way with 59.6 per cent of fully vaccinated residents, followed by Woollahra in the city’s east and Murray River in the state’s Riverina, both at 56.6 per cent.

They’re followed by Mosman (55.8 per cent) while Hunters Hill (54.6 per cent) rounds out the top five.

The high spike of vaccinations in some Sydney postcodes is due to the recent arrival of Pfizer doses from Poland.

‘You can see where we focused the Polish Pfizer over the three weeks and again 970,000 vaccines in three weeks by NSW during that period. What we’re seeing now is the result of that,’ Dr NSW Health deputy secretary Susan Pearce said.

‘The work for us now though, which is really important, is to make sure that within LGAs and even within particular suburbs that we’re drilling right down into looking at areas – there are high rates, which is great, but we’ve got to focus on where the rates are lower and that’s exactly the work we’re doing.’

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Health teams are ramping up vaccine access to areas with lower rates of vaccination with mobile pop-up clinics.

‘We look at the postcode data rather than just the LGA data so we can really, really hone in and focus on that,’ Dr Pearce said.

‘I think one of the things about vaccine that we’ve always known was that the more people who were vaccinated, the more people would get vaccinated, because they’re seeing that being vaccinated is safe and effective and so all we can do ongoingly is encourage people to follow that lead and please, please continue to come out.’ 

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Dr Pearce also wants to see vaccination rates in the Parramatta local government area increase, as it is lower than average.

‘Most of the other LGAs have come up very significantly and you must remember only a few short weeks ago we were talking about rates, first-dose rates of, in some cases, less than 20 per cent,’ she said.

‘We’re now seeing those LGAs with rates above 70 per cent and 80 per cent in terms of first dose. That’s remarkable,’ she said.

More than eight million doses have been administrated across NSW where 78.8 per cent of aged over-16 have received one jab and 46.5 per cent fully vaccinated.

NSW is scheduled to reach 70 per cent fully vaccination rate by mid October. 

Visit covid19nsw.ethan.link or nsw.gov.au/covid-19/find-the-facts-about-covid-19 to see how your postcode is tracking.

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