FULL COVID vaccination in Ballarat has surged ahead as the city pushes past a 90 per cent milestone in first doses to residents aged 15-plus.
City of Ballarat's fully vaccinated population jumped 6.1 percentage points in the past week, a rate about double the growth of three weeks ago, according to the latest federal health data released late on Monday.
This vaccination race shows Ballarat, at 63.5 per cent, remains clear ahead of the state's fully vaccinated average of 59.3 per cent.
Active COVID case numbers in regional Victoria continue to boom with 122 new cases, or eight per cent of the state's cases, reported on Monday.
Only one new case was confirmed in Ballarat after eight were recorded on Sunday night taking active case numbers to 56. There was also one new case in Hepburn Shire.
Going by the past week's first-jab rate, Ballarat will go clear beyond 95 per cent of residents aged 15-plus at least partially protected within this next week.
Ballarat Health Services Dale Fraser said this latest trend was to be expected, especially given the state government's halving of Pfizer jab intervals a week ago.
Moderna came into play a fortnight ago and has a four-week interval between jabs.
"What we're expecting is to see the proportion of second dose growth to really move rapidly at some point in the next few weeks - given supply and effort remains," Mr Fraser said.
"Modelling shows first dose rates will drop out and in the next five-to-six weeks instead of thousands more each week we will instead be looking at hundreds of scores."
There are still some areas in Ballarat proving to be a sticking point for jabs.
Residents in the Sebastopol, Delacombe and Winter Valley area have made at least a 15 percentage-point increase in first doses but only about 70 per cent of eligible residents, including 12 to 15 year olds, have received their first jab.
At least 40 per cent of jab-eligible residents living in the postcode 3356 are fully vaccinated.
Wendouree, Mitchell Park and Lake Gardens are catching up to the bulk of the Ballarat population, according to state government vaccine data by postcodes. Of those living in postcode 3355, at least 80 per cent have had their first jab, compared to at least 85 per cent of those living in postcode 3350, which covers most Ballarat suburbs.
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney last week called again on the federal government for more specific demographic detail to better identify gaps in vaccination.
Mr Fraser said BHS was sharpening a focus with health and community partners to jab deeper into areas of under-supply.
Mount Rowan and Yuille Park colleges hosted a pop-up community jabs clinic to improve access in Wendouree on Sunday. A follow-up clinic will pop-up again in the Mount Rowan school gym in three weeks time.
Mr Fraser said BHS was already working on a similar pop-up with Phoenix College in Sebastopol.
"We will still be heavily involved in bulk vaccination clinics, like at The Mercure, but I am wary of going into industries, for example, where we might only get a few people," Mr Fraser said. "We will go where the most good is done and we're getting on to these spaces."
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Mr Fraser said he was impressed with the vaccine uptake in Ballarat's youth since they became eligible. he said they keep coming forward in days like the pop-up clinic at Mount Rowan.
Almost 58 per cent of 12 to 15-year-old Victorians have received their first COVID vaccination while almost 77 per cent of the state's 16 and 17 year olds are at least partially vaccinated.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley announced on Monday the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines would now be available to anyone, including over-60s, from state-run vaccination hubs.
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