Almost 20 per cent of Riverina residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, new data has revealed.
Wagga's Dr Ayman Shenouda said it is a "pretty good number", considering the fact that it is a regional area.
On Tuesday, the federal government released new statistics revealing the rate of vaccinations geographically across Australia.
In the Riverina, 18.7 per cent of the population over the age of 15 has been fully vaccinated against COVID, as of August 1.
This places the region at 13 out of the 28 geographic areas in the state. The Riverina falls just behind the Central Coast at 19.6 per cent fully vaccinated, and just ahead of the Capital Region at 17.9 per cent.
43.5 per cent of people over 15 have received at least one dose of the vaccine in the Riverina, ranking the region 12th place.
The NSW region with the highest rate of vaccination is North Sydney and Hornsby, with 26.9 per cent of people over 15 fully vaccinated. The Far West and Orana has the lowest rate, at 13.4 per cent.
Dr Shenouda, who operates Wagga's vaccination hub, was pleased with the Riverina's vaccination results, saying that "we'd like this number to go higher as soon as we can, and vaccinate as many people as we can".
He said that the vaccination hub is vaccinating "a lot more than we were before", with a noticeable change in uptake over the past few weeks as the lockdown in Sydney continues and daily case numbers reaching the 200s.
"We are doing about 1500 cases a week; that's up to our maximum limit," Dr Shenouda said.
"We were a bit pessimistic in the beginning and things have improved a lot.
"If that trajectory keeps coming up like this, then we're going to be winning by the end of the year."
He is encouraging people not to put the vaccine off, and to start exploring their options now - including the AstraZeneca jab, which is not as popular as Pfizer at the Wagga hub.
"The services that I am doing, we feel like we serve the community very well, and that will continue until we reach those targets," Dr Shenouda added.
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Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr said that while the current vaccination rates in the Riverina "are not too bad, we could definitely do better".
"It's not a gold medal-winning performance. In fact, it's not even a podium finish," he said. "It's clear the message is getting out there, but we still have a job ahead of us. With the right supplies, we can do it."
Dr McGirr spoke critically of how the vaccine rollout has been handled, especially to begin with.
"The Australian vaccine rollout hasn't been handled well. It was slow to get started and there was an air of complacency," he said.
"But we are seeing more GPs and pharmacists coming on board and the response from people in NSW in recent days has been great."
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday that she is wanting to see restrictions across the state eased on August 29 when the current lockdown across Greater Sydney is scheduled to end.
She added that this will "depend on where case numbers are at and what the vaccination rate is".
Ms Berejiklian has set a target of 6 million jabs by the end of August.
"I suspect we'll be at 4 million by the end of the week or in the next few days and that's a target I'd like to set for New South Wales and I'm really urging everybody to come forward, to listen to the health advice," she said.
The Premier also said the government is "keen to explore" vaccine incentives. This comes after Labor has called for a one-off payment of $300 for Australians fully vaccinated by December.
"We know that people value their freedom, their desire to go back to work, their desire to engage in community life and those are the type of incentives that we'll be looking at over the next little while to provide our citizens with the opportunities to know that if they're vaccinated and their loved ones are vaccinated, there will be opportunities for greater freedom moving forward," she said.
Last week, the state government announced that up to 40,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be re-allocated from NSW Health's rural and regional supply to select Year 12 students in the worst affected areas of Sydney.
This has already lead to a number of appointment cancellations across the Riverina. Dr Ayman Shenouda, who directs Wagga's COVID vaccine hub, assured that doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca will not be impacted as his clinic because they are supplied by the federal government, not the state.
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