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Towns to compete for COVID Cup to drive vaccinations

Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival is heating up as Australia’s best staying horses toil their way towards the race that stops the nation.

But there is a more important race this year that can start the nation up again and the field is already set to go. 

Grampians Public Health Unit’s Dr Rob Grenfell wants Wimmera-Mallee towns to enter the COVID Cup and he is already studying their form.

Dr Grenfell said the most important race this year was the race to get the country vaccinated against COVID-19.

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“Our region has a strong sporting heritage and our towns love to compete with each other, especially neighbouring towns where the rivalry is always at its fiercest,” he said.

“So for your town to win the COVID Cup, it just needs to be first to get to 99 percent full vaccination.”

Dr Grenfell said the pandemic had severely disrupted community sport and spring events in the region.

“The COVID Cup is a unique ‘one-off’ event that can instil community pride and give everyone something to follow and support,” he said.

“The Victorian Premier has set the target for opening up the community a little in the first week of November when we should reach an average of 80 percent second dose.

“While that result is a very serious matter, we can have a bit of fun with the race that starts the nation.

“For starters you can expect a sudden rule change from time to time and we can look at a form guide and regular updates as the race is called.

“As the gates open I would like to be on Birchip and Kaniva, because those towns are already at 100 percent for first dose, but there are plenty of towns that could chase down the front runner. We might also introduce a few other categories or divisions based populations and so on.

“Here is the data for the first-dose vaccines across our towns-postcodes. We certainly have some prize-leading thoroughbreds, like Birchip, a lot of racers in the middle of the field, and a couple with room for improvement. 

“There are many tricks to prepare for the race and many ways to lift your performance. I reckon if 30 or so of the residents of Serviceton were to amble down to the local vaccination centre, they would move from the bottom to the top quite quickly.

“If we can lift our rates across the whole region, we will invite other players from across Grampians into the race and take on Ballarat. 

“We have certainly felt the effect of this virus on so many parts of our daily lives, and it is certainly not going to stop anytime soon.”

Dr Grenfell reminded people an important step they could take to reduce the risk of serious illness from the virus was to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“You also need to continue to follow the public-health directions. This protects you, your community and reduces the pressure on our health services,” he said.

Vaccines are available from GPs, pharmacies and vaccination hubs.

Latest first-dose vaccination

percentages –
Tempy 37; Minimay 61; Serviceton 64; Dadswells Bridge 66; Halls Gap 66; Glenorchy 66; Brim 67; Lascelles 68; Horsham 3401 69; Jeparit 71; Apsley 74; Edenhope 75; Horsham 3400 75; Willaura 75; Marnoo 77; Dimboola 78; Donald 80; Natimuk 80; Ararat 81; Great
Western 81; Goroke 81; Patchewollock 81; Ballarat 81; Minyip 83; Wycheproof 83; Warracknabeal 84; Nhill 86; Murtoa 87; Hopetoun 87; Beulah 87; Stawell 88; Woomelang 88; Rainbow 88; Watchem 89; Charlton 91; Miram 93; Harrow 95; Speed 96; Rupanyup 96; Kaniva 100; Birchip 100.

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!