It’s been a rough few months as we’ve collectively grappled with the effects of the Delta Variant, but we’re finally reaching that light at the end of the tunnel. We knew from the beginning that we would need to vaccinate our way out of the pandemic - and once those vaccines started arriving, we got them into our arms as quickly as we could and are now seeing the results.
Thanks to the collective efforts of all Victorians, nearly 85% of our population aged over 12 has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We have seen, just over a few weeks, restrictions ease and a COVID-safe environment for the fully vaccinated beginning to form. This is the endgame that Victorians have fought so hard for, as we move ever closer to a return to normality.
For our community in particular, we have shown the rest of Victoria what a high vaccine uptake is – clearly showing that all we needed was the supply of vaccines. In August, barely half of Wyndham had received their first dose, with only around a quarter being fully vaccinated.
Fast forward three months, and we have become the envy of Melbourne. More than 95% of eligible people in Wyndham have had their first dose and an outstanding 93.2% have been fully vaccinated. This is a tremendous effort that we should all be proud of. By rolling up our sleeves and getting the jab, we are one of the most vaccinated communities in metropolitan Melbourne - leading the way for the rest of Melbourne’s western suburbs, all of whom are now quickly catching up.
Contrary to what you might hear, Melbourne’s West is not a community of anti-vaxxers. We’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and we value the expertise of our health experts. We know firsthand how COVID-19 can ravage a community and we’ve said ‘never again.’ We know getting COVID harms our ability to work and provide for our families. We know the threat the virus poses not just to us, but our friends and family, some of whom may not be able to be vaccinated at all. That’s why the vaccine is so important.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the tremendous effort of our local GPs and Healthcare Workers, who have been on the frontline of this Pandemic since the start of last year. Every conversation they’ve had with someone hesitant about the vaccine that has ended in a jab in the arm is a small victory against this virus, and they should be proud of their tireless work in keeping our community safe.
We’re so close now to seeing further changes to restrictions at 90% fully vaxxed and beyond, so let me finish by encouraging everyone in Wyndham to safely enjoy the freedoms they’ve won by getting vaccinated. Go and see a movie at the cinema or go out for a drink at the pub. Enjoy the summer – you’ve earned it.