Members Statement: COVID-19 Vaccinations

Ms SPENCE (Yuroke—Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Community Sport, Minister for Youth)

I am so grateful to the community I represent in this place for coming forward to get the jab in massive numbers over recent weeks, because we know that COVID-19 vaccines are our way to the other side of lockdowns, as well as the best way to protect the health of ourselves and our loves ones and to protect our health system.

The numbers tell the remarkable story and are a testament to our community’s incredible perseverance and dedication. At the start of September, just 40.8 per cent of residents over the age of 15 had received one dose, and 22.4 per cent were fully vaccinated.

These numbers were deeply worrying for us all as they were well short of the state average and the thresholds for opening back up.

Sadly, some of the most vulnerable people in the entire state were the least protected and the very serious consequences of COVID-19 were all too real.

But turning to today, we’re at 86.3 per cent first dose and nearly half with full protection against the virus.

It’s a remarkable turnaround and one that I’m really proud of.

I know we can do even better, and that’s why we’re continuing to roll out pop-up vaccine sites. Just this weekend, hundreds of people were vaccinated at Hume Anglican Grammar in Mickleham and Roxburgh College.

And we’re still going, with Meadow Heights Community Centre operating a vaccine centre right now and more on the way, including Elevation Secondary College in Craigieburn.

A shout-out to our Hume council mayor, Cr Joseph Haweil, who has made this his priority and been an outstanding advocate for our community.

To the locals who have come forward to get tested and the health care workers who have made it possible: thank you.

Everyone in our community has worked so hard to protect each other, and we will all will be safer for it in the weeks and months to come.