Scott Morrison, aged care residents among first in Australia to receive COVID-19 vaccine | The Canberra Times

Scott Morrison, aged care residents among first in Australia to receive COVID-19 vaccine | The Canberra Times
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coronavirus, covid-19, vaccine, greg hunt, scott morrison, coronavirus

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and aged care residents have become the first people to receive the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 in Australia. Mr Morrison received a vaccination at Castle Hill Medical Centre on Sunday morning, giving a “V for victory” sign and then a thumbs up after getting the jab. “I’m ready to go, just like the country,” he said from behind a face mask showing the Australian flag. Earlier, 85-year-old aged care resident Jane Malysiak, a World War II survivor who grew up in Poland during the Depression, was the first person in Australia to receive the vaccine at 11.09am on Sunday. Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and the Chief Nursing Officer Alison McMillan received vaccinations as well as healthcare workers. Mr Morrison said he was supremely confident in the expert process that led to the first vaccinations. “From tomorrow, tens of thousands of Australians over the course of the next week can confidently come forward from those key priority groups that have been defined to ensure that we move into this next phase of how we have been preparing and dealing with COVID-19,” he said. “The next step of that journey begins.” Health Minister Greg Hunt earlier told ABC program Insiders that Australians would begin receiving the vaccinations today. The first vaccinations begin a national rollout campaign and the largest program of its kind in the nation’s history. “Today is the first round of vaccines for Australia, and ultimately that’s about hope and protection for Australians,” Mr Hunt said. Mr Morrison received the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday while Mr Hunt and his department’s secretary Brendan Murphy will have the AstraZeneca jab at a later date. Border and quarantine staff, vaccination teams, aged care residents and workers, and emergency and intensive care workers will be among the first to receive the free Pfizer jab from Monday. Mr Hunt said Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly advised having the Prime Minister receive one of the first vaccinations along with the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer would help provide confidence in the vaccine. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and Greens leader Adam Bandt have been invited to receive vaccinations this week. “This is a cross-parliamentary view where parliamentarians don’t have any special status. The cabinet or shadow cabinet doesn’t, nor even does the leadership, but it is about the confidence and indeed the research shows that people want to see that if we believe it’s safe, then that will give them greater confidence,” the Health Minister said. Mr Hunt declined to specify how much of the population he would like to see receive a COVID-19 jab but wanted “as many as possible” to be vaccinated. “What we see with both the two initial vaccines, the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca vaccine, the international evidence is that the safety impact for prevention of serious illness, hospitalisation, death has been determined to be up to 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s safe, it’s effective, it will help protect you, but it will also help protect your mum and dad, your grandparents, your nonna, all of Australia.” Frontline workers will be the first in the ACT to be vaccinated on Monday, as the territory receives about 1000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine during the first weeks of the territory’s rollout. ACT officials last week announced a five-stage plan for the vaccine rollout, which also included aged care staff and residents in its first phase. The plan would see all adults in the territory eligible to get the vaccine by July 2021 at the earliest. – With AAP

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