Hawkesbury, Baulkham Hills COVID-19 vaccination rate second-highest in Sydney

Vaxxing the community: The GP Respiratory Clinic at Kable Street, Windsor, is one of the GP-led venues helping vaccinate the Hawkesbury community. Picture: Sarah Falson
Vaxxing the community: The GP Respiratory Clinic at Kable Street, Windsor, is one of the GP-led venues helping vaccinate the Hawkesbury community. Picture: Sarah Falson

The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills is the second-highest in Sydney, behind only the North Shore and Hornsby.

Nearly half of residents who live in the area that takes in Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills have had at least one COVID-19 jab and over a quarter are fully vaccinated.

This is according to new Federal Government data from Operation COVID Shield that shows 49.8 per cent of Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills residents had been administered at least one jab up until August 1, and 25.5 per cent were fully vaccinated.

North Shore and Hornsby was at 51.9 per cent with at least one jab, and 26.9 fully vaccinated.

Wentworth Healthcare, the provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network - which takes in Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, Penrith and Lithgow - has been working closely with the Department of Health to support the local vaccination roll-out into general practices.

Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay said, "General practices are working really hard to vaccinate our community against COVID-19 on top of normal childhood immunisations, flu vaccinations and providing their normal patient care.

Vaccine rate: 49.8 per cent of Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills residents had been administered at least one COVID-19 jab up until August 1, and 25.5 per cent were fully vaccinated. Picture: Shutterstock

Vaccine rate: 49.8 per cent of Hawkesbury and Baulkham Hills residents had been administered at least one COVID-19 jab up until August 1, and 25.5 per cent were fully vaccinated. Picture: Shutterstock

"We estimate that over 70,000 vaccine doses in our region have been administered through primary care which includes general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services and GP-led Respiratory Clinics. Nationally, we know that over half of all vaccinations have been administered through primary care."

She said there were 86 general practices delivering COVID-19 vaccinations in the region and of these, 21 were located in the Hawkesbury.

"In addition, we have three GP-led Respiratory Clinics located in Hazelbrook, Penrith and Windsor," she said.

"We have seen the community demand for COVID-19 vaccination increase since the recent outbreak and expect that vaccinations numbers will grow more quickly as our capacity and dose allocations increase."

NSW Health does not release the number of vaccinations it has performed, but Wentworth Health said over half of vaccinations were performed through primary care.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Public Health, Dr Victor Carey, urged everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and "to do so as soon as possible".

"Vaccination is critical in our fight against COVID-19," said Dr Carey.

"We know that all ages are being impacted by the highly contagious and dangerous Delta variant.

"Vaccination will help to protect you, your loved ones and our local community from severe and potentially fatal illness.

"Our vaccination staff have been extremely busy vaccinating the local community and it's been encouraging to see so many people receiving their doses and doing their bit to keep us all safe.

"COVID-19 vaccinations are available at locations across the region, including some GP clinics.

"If you are eligible to be vaccinated, now is the time to make that appointment and book it in."

Appointment bookings are available through the eligibility checker on the Commonwealth Department of Health website: https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility

"Together, we will get through this but in the long term, being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community," said Dr Carey.

He also urged anyone to continue following the public health advice currently in place.

"Go and get tested for even the mildest of cold and flu symptoms and isolate until you receive a negative result. Don't delay getting a test as you could unknowingly infect those closest to you or members of your community," Dr Carey said.

There are a number of testing locations within our District. To find your nearest testing location, visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/clinics.aspx