COVID-19 vaccination rates by Local Government Area and Regional area and Indigenous status, including Time Series

Introduction

The Australian Government Department of Health releases vaccination rates by Local Government Area each week [1]. The atlases (below) will be updated periodically to show the latest coverage at the Local Government Area level. They include a selection of demographic and socioeconomic status indicators from the Social Health Atlas of Australia.

Concerns have been raised about the low rates of vaccination in Aboriginal communities; these low rates are evident in regional data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people first released by the Australian Government Department of Health on 1 September 2021 and included in the Regional atlas below [2]. Since 10 November vaccination data for Aboriginal people have also been available by LGA, showing a finer geographic distribution [3].

As the data for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are available for all LGAs, and those for the total population are not available for LGAs classified as Remote or Very Remote, we have also provided a Regional atlas to allow for comparisons.

Total Population

The change in correlation at the Local Government Area level between high rates of those fully-vaccinated and high socioeconomic status in Sydney and Melbourne, from a very strong association on 27 August to no association on 13 December, showed the effectiveness of the targeted strategies undertaken in those cities. In contrast, the very strong associations with high socioeconomic status in Adelaide on 27 August (r = 0.9) remained largely unchanged in Adelaide at the end of February (r = 0.7), underlining the challenges remaining.

Since then, and along with the overall increase in vaccination rates in all of the capital cities, the equity gap in both Adelaide and Perth has closed. In Adelaide it has reduced from a vaccination rate 43% lower in the most disadvantaged areas (when compared with the least disadvantaged areas) on 27 August, to 14% lower on 13 December and to 4% lower on 28 February. In Perth, the respective percentages were 37% on 27 August, 12% on 13 December and no difference on 28 February. Despite the smaller gap in Perth, the rates in all of the quintiles are the lowest of the capital cities, reflecting Perth’s overall low vaccination rate.

The correlations from late August to mid March for the capital cities and regional areas can be seen in the Double map Atlas here.

Children

Just over half (51.2%) of all children in Australia aged from 5 to 11 years had received dose 1 of a COVID-19 vaccination at 14 March 2022 [1]. However, coverage varied widely between the jurisdictions, from lows of 43.0% in Queensland and 48.4% in New South Wales, to 78.9% in Canberra [2]. Rates in the other states and the Northern Territory were in the low to mid-50% range.

There was also considerable variation at the Local Government Area (LGA) level across Australia. In the capital cities, vaccination rates varied from 30.8% in Somerset (R), in the north-east of Brisbane Greater Capital City area, to 95.0% in Adelaide (C), in the Adelaide Greater Capital City area. Of the regional LGAs for which data were available, rates varied from 14.1% in Tenterfield (A), in regional New South Wales, to 88.4% in Mingenew (S), in Western Australia.

The maps of the capital cities show distinctive patterns, with lower rates in more socioeconomically disadvantaged areas and higher rates in more socioeconomically advantaged areas. These visual associations are supported by the correlation coefficients in the table below between the proportion of children in Australia aged from 5 to 11 years who had received dose 1 of a COVID-19 vaccination at 14 March 2022 and a selection of demographic and socioeconomic indicators [3]. The overall impression is of a clear and consistent association between socioeconomic disadvantage and low vaccination rates at the LGA level across these capital cities. Of note is that it is only in Brisbane that there appears to be an association between high rates of childhood immunisation at 5 years of age and take-up of the COVID-19 vaccine by children age 5 to 11 years.

[1] Data are only presented for dose 1 as national coverage for dose 2 was 12.0% on 14 March 2022

[2] The same relativities between the states and territories are evident in the rates on 22 February, at the time the floods in New South Wales and Queensland commenced

[3] Correlations with other indicators can be seen in the double map

Correlation coefficients (r) between % children aged 5 to 11 years received first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at 14 March and selected demographic and socioeconomic indicators, Local Government Areas in capital cities*

Greater Capital City area% children aged 5 to 11 years, 2021% Aboriginal aged 5 to 9 years, 2020% children in families where mother has low educational achievement, 2016% Children in low income, welfare-dependent families, June 2021% children fully immunised at 5 years of age, 2018Potentially preventable hospitalisations (aged 0 to 14 years), 2018/19 - Standardised RatioSummary measure of socioeconomic disadvantage (IRSD), 2016#
Sydney -0.3  -0.7 -0.8 -0.7 -0.2 -0.6 0.7
Melbourne -0.5  -0.5 -0.6 -0.5 -0.4 -0.4 0.4
Brisbane** -0.5  -0.9 -0.9 -0.8  0.4 -0.5 0.8
Adelaide -0.8  -0.8 -0.8 -0.6 -0.7 -0.6 0.6
Perth -0.6  -0.8 -0.9 -0.7 -0.4 -0.7 0.6

 

*Excludes Hobart, Darwin and Canberra, for which separate data are not available due to small numbers of observations (LGAs)

#IRSD is the 2016 Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvan51.2tage from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Correlation coefficients with the IRSD are positive when the association with relative higher vaccination rates is positive with advantaged populations

^Correlations for Brisbane should be treated with caution as there are only seven observations (LGAs)

To see these data and other indicators, click here for single maps (including state and territory totals) or double maps (including correlations).

Booster vaccination rates

At the state and territory level, the proportion of the population who have received the booster vaccination, or third vaccination, varies from 58.3% in New South Wales to 80.5% in Western Australia. These data are in sharp contrast to the take-up of the second dose, when the proportions just three months ago were 76.0% in Western Australia and 92.5% in New South Wales.

Birthplace and socioeconomic status have been strong indicators of variations over the past two years within jurisdictions in the take-up of vaccinations against COVID-19. This trend is once again evident with respect to the booster.

For example, there is a strong to very strong correlation at the Local Government Area level in the capital cities between the proportion of the population who had received a booster dose at 28 February 2022 and a range of demographic and socioeconomic indicators.

Some examples from the following table highlight the different experiences of various population groups. For example, In Melbourne, LGAs with relatively high proportions of people who have a Health Care Card have a strong negative (inverse) correlation (r = -0.9) with LGAs with high rates of booster vaccinations. The association is weaker (-0.5), although still negative, with LGAs with high proportions of people receiving a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC); and it is strongly positive with those who have a Seniors Health Care Card (0.8), a group of older Australians who are financially far better off, on average, than those with a PCC. A similar pattern exists for the other capital cities.

In general, the lower booster vaccination rates are moderately to strongly correlated at the Local Government Area level with people born in countries where English is not the predominant language – and with slightly stronger correlations with those of this population group who had been resident for a longer period (for five or more years, as at August 2016). Even stronger are the correlations with permanent migrants who entered Australia under the Offshore Humanitarian Program and arrived between 2000 and August 2016.

To see these data and other indicators, click here for single or doublemaps.

Correlation coefficients (r) between % received more than 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at 28 February 2022 and selected demographic and socioeconomic indicators, Local Government Areas in capital cities*

Greater Capital City area% Aboriginal, 2020% born in predominantly NES# countries, all, 2016% born in predominantly NES# countries, resident 5 years or more, 2016Permanent migrants who arrived from 2000 to 2016^Health Care Card, 2021Pensioner Concession Card, 2021Seniors Health Care Card, 2021Summary measure of socioeconomic disadvantage, 2016~
Sydney -0.4 -0.4 -0.5 -0.6 -0.8 -0.7 0.8 0.9
Melbourne -0.5 -0.5 -0.5 -0.8 -0.9 -0.5 0.8 0.8
Brisbane** -0.7 0.0 0.0 -0.7 -0.9 -0.4 0.9 0.8
Adelaide -0.8 -0.3 -0.4 -0.8 -0.8 -0.6 0.8 0.9
Perth -0.7 -0.4 -0.5 -0.7 -0.8 -0.6 0.9 0.9

 

*Excludes Hobart, Darwin and Canberra, for which separate data are not available due to small numbers of observations (LGAs)

#'Predominantly NES countries' comprises countries where English is not the predominant language

^Permanent migrants entering Australia under the Offshore Humanitarian Program who arrived between 2000 and 9th August 2016

~IRSD is the 2016 Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Correlation coefficients with the IRSD are positive when the association with relative higher vaccination rates is positive with advantaged populations

**Correlations for Brisbane should be treated with caution as there are only seven observations (LGAs)

As shown on this website (see Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander population below), vaccination rates among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander population lag those of other Australians, with the largest gaps in regional areas of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, and, of the capital cities, in Perth and Adelaide. It is not surprising then that, despite their relatively small numbers, there are moderate to very strong negative correlations between this population group and booster vaccination rates.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also available for Local Government Areas (LGA) and for larger geographical areas, called Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4). The increased vaccination rates over the period from 13 October to 19 January are evident in each State and Territory. Of concern however is that the vaccination rates are all relatively low, and are the lowest in South Australia (71.9%) and Western Australia (72.2%).

These data can be seen in the Single map Atlas here.Additional data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are mapped here.

Percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over fully vaccinated, by Section of State [1]

  13 October 2021 2 March 2022
  TotalRange at SA4 level (%)Difference (% points) TotalRange at LGA level (%)Difference (% points)
New South Wales   58.3       84.3    
  Sydney 67.4 59 - 78 19   86.0 79 - 91 12
  Rest of NSW 53.9 39 - 63 24   83.6 65 - 94 29
Victoria   48.9       87.1    
  Melbourne 52.0 45 - 65 20   87.3 83 - 92 9
  Rest of Vic 45.3 40 - 53 13   86.9 81 - 92 11
Queensland   31.8       75.6    
  Brisbane 38.2 30 - 51 21   78.7 75 - 82 7
  Rest of Qld 28.9 24 - 39 15   74.2 61 - 94 33
South Australia   32.5       71.9    
  Adelaide 32.8 28 - 45 17   71.6 67 - 90 23
  Rest of SA 32.2 32 - 33 1   72.2 65 - 97 32
Western Australia   21.5       72.2    
  Perth 23.8 21 - 39 18   74.6 65 - 90 25
  Rest of WA 19.7 18 - 27 9   70.3 58 - 96 38
Tasmania   48.1       84.7    
  Hobart 50.7 .. ..   85.6 82 - 90 8
  Rest of Tas 46.4 45- 48 3   84.2 78 - 93 15
Northern Territory   37.5       82.8    
  Darwin 39.9 .. ..   85.0 84 - 88 4
  Rest of NT 36.2 .. ..   81.8 71 - 92 21
ACT   63.3 .. ..   88.9 .. ..

 

[1] Data are only shown where there are sufficient SA4s or LGAs

 

Source:  

  1. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/covid-19-vaccination-geographic-vaccination-rates-lga
  2. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/covid-19-vaccination-geographic-vaccination-rates-sa4-indigenous-population
  3. https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/covid-19-vaccination-geographic-vaccination-rates-lga-indigenous-population