Recent covid vaccination data has extended down to SA3 statistical region level:
Cairns region is performing above average for Queensland regions. There are also still distinct demographic differences with higher rates generally in more affluent older demographics in urban areas. Cairns – North stands out here in our region more than 5 percentage points above Cairns – South.
Qld Outback is a misfit SA4 statistical region. The southern outback fronts the far south west NSW border and also has a much higher average age profile. LGA data indicates relatively high vaccination rates also in border locations like Goondiwindi (Downs-Maranoa SA4) which is also a critical border crossing for freight bypassing SEQ to the north.
The low rates in Outback-Far North, which includes most of the Cape and Torres Strait, is a concern. There has been comment on low vaccinations in indigenous communities, including Cairns, being attributable to vaccine hesitancy. When it come to vaccination rates for childhood diseases in the indigenous community they are actually quite high.
The national coverage rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander five year olds was 97.12% at June 2021, above the target of 95%.
Consequently, I find the explanation any inherent vaccine hesitancy alone unconvincing.