There are growing fears for the Byron Bay region, with locals predicting the area's high vaccine hesitancy will lead to disaster once NSW reopens within weeks.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, local health workers claimed anti-vaxxers were intentionally booking fake vaccination appointments only to never show up, causing doses of the precious vaccine to be wasted.
Mayoral candidate Mark Swivel told the publication many Byron residents saw themselves as the "cool kids" who liked to rebel against authority.
"A large degree of anti-vax sentiment is flipping the bird to the mainstream with both middle fingers – well it's time for the cool kids to take one for the team," he said.
There are fears locals will reject the vaccine which could lead to further widespread outbreaks.
Meanwhile, in nearby Lismore, doctor Chris Ingall said the area's high vaccine hesitancy meant it was only a matter of time before an outbreak took hold, given NSW was just weeks away from reopening.
"The opening up of the state is inevitable and we are going to be awash with Covid by Christmas, maybe before then," Dr Ingall told the publication.
"Here we have pockets who won't vaccinate. Look anywhere in the world and see what happens in those communities."
New freedoms for Sydney LGAs
Sydney's 12 LGAs of concern are waking to new freedoms today, with those former hot spots now subject to the same rules as the rest of the city.
It means the LGAs of Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and parts of Penrith have emerged from the harshest lockdown rules in the state.
Locals now have unlimited recreation time and fully-vaxxed adults can gather outside in groups of five, although the authorised worker conditions and the travel permit requirements will remain for now.
Victoria's bleak lockdown record
Victoria is on track to become the most locked down city in the world, with Premier Daniel Andrews' road map to freedom revealing lockdown would remain for five more weeks, until October 26.
If that comes to pass, it means Melburnians will have endured a gruelling 267 days in lockdown since last March – or nine long months – beating Buenos Aires by 22 days.
"There may be a miracle, but the likely thing is they will be hit hard."