THE HUNTER Valley has some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in Australia, federal government data shows.
In the Hunter Valley, excluding Newcastle, about one in seven people aged 15 and above - or 14.1 per cent - are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
The data shows that in NSW, only the Far West and Orana district has worse rates, with just 13.4 per cent fully vaccinated.
Across the nation, the Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle) also has the seventh lowest percentage of people who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination rates are only slightly higher in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, with 17.7 per cent of people aged 15 and above fully vaccinated, and 41.3 per cent partially vaccinated.
Despite requests, NSW Health has refused to break down the vaccination rates geographically to date.
But the information was released by the Australian government on Monday - as part of "Operation COVID Shield" - with vaccine data sourced from the Australian Immunisation Register as late as 11:59pm on August 1.
The data does not reveal the average age of people in different geographic areas, nor does it factor in the available supply of vaccines.
It comes after thousands of vaccination appointments at Belmont's mass vaccination centre were cancelled to redirect about 5500 Pfizer doses to Sydney.
NSW Health has advised it is sending 40,000 doses previously earmarked for "almost every" rural and regional health district in the state to a new mass vaccination hub at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena. They will vaccinate Year 12 students in locked down areas as a priority.
In the Hunter Valley - excluding Newcastle - the percentage of people 15 and above who had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine was 37.5 per cent.
But the highest rates of vaccine coverage in NSW were in some parts of Sydney.
In the North Sydney and Hornsby district, almost 27 per cent of the population 15 and over were fully vaccinated, while almost 52 per cent had received a first dose.
In Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, 23.9 per cent were fully vaccinated, and 44.8 per cent had received their first dose.
IN THE NEWS:
- Greater Bank, Newcastle Perm unveil merger plan to be 'financial powerhouse'
- The Newcastle suburbs where death rates triple national average
- EDITORIAL: Blame game misses point of Hunter's fury at Pfizer shift
- Put vaccine cancellation chaos right at Belmont hub: Catley
- 199 new COVID cases in NSW
- 'Launching a business during global pandemic isn't what I envisaged'
But the Sydney suburbs with lower vaccination rates include some of the local government areas of concern in the current outbreak.
In Sydney's inner south west, 16.1 per cent of people 15 and above are fully vaccinated, with 33.5 per cent partially vaccinated; and in Sydney's south west - where Pfizer doses are currently being redirected to students - 14.6 per cent are fully vaccinated, and 33.1 per cent have received one dose.