Vax rate concerns linger

Palm Plaza pop-up clinic was installed to boost the region's lagging Covid-vaccine rates. 252244_03 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells and Danielle Kutchel

Doveton residents live in one of the lowest Covid vaccinated areas of Melbourne, according to state data.

As of 13 October, between 35-40 per cent of the postcode’s residents 16-and-over were fully vaccinated.

Between 75-80 per cent had received a single dose.

It’s significantly behind the Victorian average of 61.5 per cent fully vaccinated and 86.7 per cent single dosed.

In neighbouring postcodes Dandenong, Hallam and Hampton Park, there were below-average 40-45 per cent double-vax rates.

Keysborough, Springvale and Endeavour Hills (50-55 per cent) and Noble Park (45-50 per cent) are also below par.

Most of the above postcodes have more than 100 active Covid cases, with Dandenong hardest hit with 378.

The silver lining is that Greater Dandenong’s double-vax rate surged 7.3 per cent in the week up to 11 October. But its 48 per cent fully vaccinated figure is still one of Victoria’s lowest.

The combination of surging active cases and low vaccination rates continue to concern health authorities.

On 12 October, there were 1544 active cases recorded in Casey, including 133 new cases that day.

In Greater Dandenong, there were 811 active cases and 68 new cases.

Postcode hotspots are Cranbourne (434 active cases), Dandenong (378), Noble Park (227), Hampton Park (146), Hallam and Doveton (both 114), Endeavour Hills (109) and Keysborough (107).

Health Minister Martin Foley on 13 October attributed Dandenong’s vaccine lag to a “range of issues”.

“Firstly younger more diverse communities who became eligible for vaccination later, then there’s a whole range of opportunities for points of distribution for the vaccine.

“The people of Dandenong, when given the opportunity, have come forward really strongly.

“It has been older communities that became eligible earlier in the rollout and now what we’re seeing is as we’ve finally got that widespread localised distribution, those communities coming forward in great numbers.”

In an effort to boost the region’s vax rates, pop-up clinics have been opened for walk-up jabs. Such as in Palm Plaza in Dandenong, where 463 people were vaccinated on 12 October.

Neighbourhood pop-up clinics are also expected to soon open at shopping strips, cultural and community centres and popular retail, food and gym outlets.