Ballarat has smashed through a key vaccination target as Victoria heads towards reopening this week.
About 80 per cent of the city's residents aged 15 or over will be double vaccinated by Tuesday, according to the latest statistics on vaccination rates from the federal government.
The numbers, from October 24 and released Monday afternoon, state 95 per cent of the 88,323 residents aged over 15 in Ballarat have had one jab, and 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.
SEE THE PROJECTED JAB RATE:
This is an increase of 8.4 per cent double-vaccinated since last week, and indicates the city could be 95 per cent or more fully vaccinated within weeks, possibly even by Melbourne Cup Day.
Several targeted pop-up vaccination sites have opened across the city in recent weeks, boosting numbers in areas like Wendouree and Sebastopol as well as for specific workforces as vaccine mandates kick in.
In Moorabool Shire, the double-vaccinated rate is slightly higher than Ballarat's, at 79.1 per cent, and in Golden Plains, the rate is 79.7 per cent.
Pyrenees Shire is at 76.1 per cent double-vaccinated, and Hepburn Shire is at 81.1 per cent.
Residents aged 15 or older in all neighbouring shires are now more than 95 per cent single-jabbed - the official statistics stop recording at 95 per cent.
The vaccination news was welcomed by City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney, who said regional Victoria was punching above its weight in the jab race.
"There are few places in the world that can boast these figures," he said.
"It's smashing it out of the park, it's just incredible we've got to those figures, which we had never dreamed would be possible earlier this year.
"It should hopefully mean now that lockdown eight was our last, and you'd have to think it'd be very difficult to lock down a city that will eventually achieve more than 95 per cent of eligible people vaccinated."
That's promising for business confidence, he added, ahead of a potential summer tourism bonanza.
"(This time last year) there was hope, but this time around there's solid data and evidence that people have taken up the vaccine in incredible numbers," he said.
"The local economy needs (that confidence), and it's those type of figures that will give governments and businesses confidence for a more productive 2022.
"There is still a level of nervousness around impact on hospitals in the next several weeks - November and December will still be very challenging for our hospitals and we need to make sure we're supporting our health staff as a community, and we're not completely free of restrictions yet, there's still a couple of weeks, but these are freedoms that have been hard earned, we've had a really tough 2021 locked down."
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton said sights should be firmly set on the hitting 90 per cent double-vaccination target.
"Let's not stop at 80 per cent," he said.
"70-80 (per cent)'s always been the language around the targets, but let's be ambitious and bold, push for 90-plus per cent of 12 and over - the first dose numbers suggest it's not unachievable."
The high vaccination rate also shows the need to support those who cannot get the jab, he added, with rapid antigen testing required so people are not disadvantaged.
"To make sure they're not excluded from society, there has to be systems in place," he said.
"There's cannots, like those who've had COVID and can't get the jab right now, or people with a health concern, and there's will-nots, and I think the will-nots will get smaller and smaller as a percentage of the population.
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"I'm less concerned about the will-nots, they will make an absolute minority of the community, and the decisions they make, the consequences they'll have to live with.
"In a situation with more than 90 per cent vaccinated, it's a small population, but we'd encourage them to get vaccinated, because at the end of the day, they'll be outnumbered by those who can."
More restrictions are set to ease at 6pm on Friday, when the whole state hits the 80 per cent fully-vaccinated mark.
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