The latest Federal Government statistics show 40.1 per cent of Macedon Ranges Shire are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A total of 67.1 per cent have received their first jab in the Macedon Ranges. The rates are based on the shire’s population of 39,626, aged 15 years and older.

Macedon Ranges’ vaccination rates are higher than Victoria’s overall fully vaccinated rate of 32.2 per cent, and first jab rate of 53.2 per cent.

Neighbouring shires have the following full vaccination rates: Hepburn Shire 42.4 per cent; Mitchell 32.3; Mt Alexander 45.9; Hume 22.4.

The State Government has indicated lockdowns will become less frequent once the population’s vaccination rates reach 70-80 per cent.

The statistics come following a collaborative campaign by health and community services in the Macedon Ranges Shire to encourage residents to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Central Highlands Rural Health, Hepburn Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, and Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health have joined together to endorse a campaign to ensure residents have consistent and trusted vaccination information across the region.

Titled ‘Get the Jab Done’, the campaign focuses on the message that vaccination will keep the community safe.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council representative Nathan Upson said one person getting the vaccine was beneficial for the wider community.

“The COVID vaccine will protect you, your loved ones and your community,” he said.

“We encourage everyone across our region to roll up their sleeves and get the jab done.”

COVID vaccines are free and voluntary. Health experts say all vaccines carry a ­minor risk of adverse reaction, while the risk of contracting or spreading the virus is much greater.

Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health chief executive Phillip Ripper said the benefits should outweigh the fears over potential risks.

“We know that some people in the community have concerns about possible adverse reactions from the COVID vaccine,” he said.

“The government’s coronavirus website is a good source of quality vaccine information, however your GP is the best person to talk to if you have questions about the COVID vaccine and existing health conditions.”

The COVID vaccine is available through State Government vaccination centres. A full list of locations can be found at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres.

There are also several general practitioners and pharmacies offering vaccinations across the Macedon Ranges, including Lancefield Medical Centre; Ochre Health Lancefield Country Practice; Lancefield Pharmacy; Parkwood Green Medical Romsey; Romsey Pharmacy; Romsey Medical; Saint Mary Medical Centre, Gisborne; Neal Street Medical Clinic, Gisborne; Priceline Pharmacy Gisborne; Gisborne Medical Centre; Ranges Medical, New Gisborne; Riddells Creek Pharmacy; and Riddell Country Practice.

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