THE CITY'S first active Delta strain infection of COVID-19 should serve as a critical reminder for anyone yet to get their second vaccination dose, Committee for Ballarat's chief says.
Ballarat's double-dose rate for residents aged 16-plus has slowed in a 2.8 percentage point rise the past week, compared to a 4.4 percentage point jump a week earlier, the latest federal health data shows.
This lag is clear behind progress in the state's other regional centres.
Committee for Ballarat chief Michael Poulton said when you looked at how much Greater Shepparton's fully vaccination rates had jumped in August, from 19 per cent to 37 per cent of eligible residents, then coupled with the Ballarat region's first exposures to Delta, this virus risk was real.
And now the risk was close to home.
IN COVID NEWS
"First and foremost, our thoughts are with all those struggling with the virus in the community. We want to ensure our exposure risk is as low as it can be," Mr Poulton said.
"In terms of the slowing double vaccinations, this is a call out to those who have received their first jab to get their second, done and dusted, and help make the community safer."
Ballarat's first-dose rate is at 71 per cent, a steady 5.5 percentage point rise on last week's numbers.
Mr Poulton said full vaccination rates should climb once under-40s started to line up for their second jabs. Early adopters for AstraZeneca in this cohort should start to access their second doses from next week after the state government halved the interval period from 12 to six weeks.
Mr Poulton praised a big response from the region's final year secondary school students for taking part in a vaccine blitz, with priority jab access to this cohort to continue at state-run vaccination centres until Friday.
Should Ballarat's full vaccination rate continue to rise at 2.8 percent, projected figures show the city would drag an 80 per cent full vaccination target out to early December.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ballarat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.