'Main concern': Port Lincoln called out for low vaccination rates

Book your jab: There are over 3,000 people in Port Lincoln yet to have their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Shutterstock
Book your jab: There are over 3,000 people in Port Lincoln yet to have their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Shutterstock

Port Lincoln has been called out for low COVID-19 vaccination rates, with over 3,000 people in the community yet to have a single dose.

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network (EFNLHN) CEO, Verity Paterson, said the region needs to keep increasing its vaccination rates and ensure "the best protection for our communities, our health services and the people that work in them".

"Our focus continues to be ensuring that people have access to a vaccination, either through their GP, local Aboriginal Health Service, pharmacy or one of our clinics," she said.

"We are aware of some pockets of people who don't wish to get vaccinated or who are yet to, and we continue to work through ways to address this and provide advice and support to people who may have concerns.

"Our main concern is boosting vaccination rates in Port Lincoln and the Far North. There are still over 3,000 people in Port Lincoln who are yet to have a single dose."

As of Monday, November 22, in the Far North, first dose rates were 66 per cent and 52 per cent fully vaccinated.

The Lower Eyre Peninsula had 80 per cent with a first dose and 68 per cent double dosed.

Coastal Communities had 80 per cent with a first dose and 71 per cent double dosed.

Central Eyre Peninsula had 84 per cent with a first dose and 76 per cent double dosed.

EFNLHN "strongly encouraged" anyone living in Port Lincoln, as well as Coober Pedy, Oodnadatta, Marla and Glendambo, to get vaccinated.

"Vaccination is the best form of defence against COVID-19 and people can speak to their local health providers to find out more about getting vaccinated," Ms Paterson said.

South Australia's border is now open to fully-vaccinated residents from the rest of Australia.

The mayor of Kimba District Council Dean Johnson said his area was vulnerable to an outbreak as it was "pretty open to interstate travel through the highway".

"We get a lot of travellers here and we're trying to push the QR code, mask mandating and health measures and encourage everyone we can to get vaccinated as soon as they can as their primary level of defence," he said.

Jo-Anne Quigley, mayor of District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula, said her council was promoting COVID Clinic dates on its website, Facebook page and newsletters. It was also providing COVID information from the Practice Nurse of the Lower Eyre Family Practice to keep the community updated.

"Our best defence against any sort of lockdown is to keep our vaccination rates up. If you're not vaccinated now's the time to get one," she said.