Victoria's regional areas have been outpacing metropolitan Melbourne in the race toward 80 per cent fully vaccinated.
An analysis produced exclusively for The Standard showed regional local government areas started Victoria's vaccination rollout ahead of metro LGAs, but over time the gap has continued to widen.
Monash University data scientist Dr Behrooz Hassani Mahmooei, who performed the analysis, said regional areas were running ahead of the state average for vaccine doses week after week.
"It's safe to say regional Victoria has consistently been performing better than metropolitan Melbourne," he said.
Dr Hassani Mahmooei said there were many reasons why regional areas might be leading the state rollout, but age was probably a factor.
Older people have been vaccinated at higher rates than the general population and regional areas skew older than big cities.
Warrnambool (seen as a square in the graph above) has been sitting in the top handful of Victorian LGAs since the start of the rollout, and is on track to hit its double dose milestones a couple of weeks before the rest of the state hits them, triggering fresh changes in restrictions.
Breaking the numbers down by socioeconomic status (SES), Dr Hassani Mahmooei said there wasn't a strong pattern.
"That's a good thing. It suggests SES doesn't have a big influence on access to the vaccine in Victoria," he said.
The exceptions were the outer Melbourne LGAs of Greater Dandenong, Whittlesea, and particularly Hume, which has been at the centre of Victoria's current Delta outbreak.
The pattern contrasted strongly with NSW, where inner city, high SES areas have much higher vaccination rates than regional and low SES areas.
The main exception in NSW was Byron Bay, which despite being high SES had low vaccination rates. It is also well known as the anti-vax capital of Australia.
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