REGIONAL Victoria continues to lead all other country areas in the race to vaccinate Australians against COVID-19.
The regions reached the target on Monday, with 73.7 per cent of eligible residents having received their first dose.
The latest federal government data released on Tuesday shows as of September 12, about 75.4 per cent of Bendigo region residents aged 15 and over have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 50.8 per cent are now fully vaccinated.
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In a major achievement for the state, all statistical areas of regional Victoria have surpassed the 70 per cent first-dose vaccination target, well ahead of areas in the Melbourne metropolitan region.
Warrnambool leads the way with 77.6 per cent of eligible residents having had at least one dose, while Geelong (77 per cent), Shepparton (74.4 per cent) and Hume (73.8 per cent) join the Bendigo region not far behind.
Bendigo's tally of 50.8 per cent of eligible residents being fully vaccinated is behind only Geelong at 51.3 per cent across regional Victoria.
The state is poised to reach its 70 per cent first-dose vaccination target on Friday.
Despite being on track, Deputy Premier James Merlino yesterday said Victorians should not expect any announcements of any further easing of restrictions in the coming days.
"We're working through the modelling this week, so, there won't be announcements through the course of this week," Mr Merlino said.
"We're working through the Burnett modelling, many, many long meetings and discussions, engagement with public health, the Premier indicated the weekend. That's what we're working towards."
He said significant freedoms would only come when the state reached 80 per cent double-dose.
"As the Premier indicated once we reach the 70 per cent, some modest improvements in life, modest things that we can do," he said.
"You note, we need to get to a 80 per cent double dosed and then beyond that, there will still be COVID normal restrictions impacting on our lives."
Only 42.6 per cent of Australians have been fully vaccinated and 67.8 per cent have received their first dose.
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