The number of North Coast residents vaccinated against the coronavirus has now topped 98,000, according to Healthy North Coast /Primary Health Network, which has recorded a regional increase of around 22,500 vaccinations in its Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie footprint.

The most recent population count for the North Coast region was 477,693

The previous fortnightly increase was around 18,000, indicating that the uptake of the vaccine is gathering pace.  

Over the same period, the weekly supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine to general practices has increased to 26,400. The number of vaccine doses available at Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics has been boosted and NSW Health has established vaccination centres at local hospitals, as well as a number of pop-up clinics.  

Healthy North Coast Chief Executive Julie Sturgess said the latest figures showed people were embracing the need to vaccinate against COVID-19.  

‘There are now more and more options to get vaccinated,’ Ms Sturgess said. 

‘I encourage our communities to take the opportunity to safeguard themselves and others against COVID-19 by getting the jab.  The figures we’re seeing are a strong start, but there’s plenty more to do.’  

About 80 per cent of North Coast residential aged care facilities have finished resident vaccinations, with the remainder expected to be completed by the end of June.  

The Australian Government has now expanded Australians' vaccine entitlements to include - 

  • All adults aged 40 to 49  
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 to 49 
  • NDIS participants aged years 16 and over, and carers of NDIS participants of any age
  • Temporary visa holders under 50 who are currently in Australia and have an approved exemption for return travel.       

Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for people aged under 50, but AstraZeneca can be given if a person gives informed consent after consultation with their doctor. AstraZeneca is the recommended vaccine for people aged 50 and over.    

Access to vaccination is also dependent on local vaccine supply and demand, and there may be waiting lists in some areas, according to the primary health coordinating body. The best way for people to find out when and where they can book a vaccination is by using the online Vaccine Eligibility Checker and clinic finder.