Australia’s coronavirus vaccinations start TODAY with a WWII survivor nursing home patient the first to get the jab – a day ahead of schedule
- A female aged care resident who survived WW2 in Poland got the jab on Sunday
- Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly will also be vaccinated today
- From Monday, 678,000 Aussies on the frontline of the pandemic will get the jab
Australia’s Covid vaccination roll out is officially underway, with a Polish aged care resident who survived World War II the first to receive the jab.
Scott Morrison, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and chief nursing and midwifery officer Alison McMillan will also receive the Pfizer vaccination on Sunday at Castle Hill Medical Centre.
A small group of aged care residents, staff and frontline health care workers are also set to get the jab today.
From Monday, 678,000 Australians on the frontline of the pandemic will get their first round of vaccinations.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the prime minister being among the first people to get vaccinated will instill public confidence in the vaccine.
A small group of aged care residents, staff and frontline health care workers are also set to get the jab today
From Monday, 678,000 Australians on the frontline of the pandemic will get their first round of vaccinations. Pictured: a man getting the jab in Ireland
Two doses are required at least three weeks apart and the vaccine must be stored and transported at -70C. Pictured: a simulation of the COVID-19 vaccine process in Sydney on February 19
‘There was a very strong focus on the need for key leaders, not the parliament, not the cabinet, not even the leadership group, but a cross-party group, to provide that confidence (to Australians),’ he told ABC’s Insiders program.
‘That has been a view in many places around the world.’
Mr Hunt said Australia is ‘about to embark on one of the most important public health initiatives’ in the nation’s history.
‘Getting the vaccination is both an individual and a collective responsibility,’ he told The Sunday Herald.
‘If people can see safety and effectiveness, then they will be confident and the numbers will grow and grow.’
Mr Hunt will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming weeks.
Two doses are required at least three weeks apart and the vaccine must be stored and transported at -70C.
A flying squad of 500 nurse immunisers will be dispatched around the nation to vaccinate aged care and disability residents.
Mr Morrison says federal and state health officers are monitoring whether to make shots compulsory for some workers.
The roll out comes a day after thousands of protesters attended anti-vaccination rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Simultaneous protests were also held in Cairns, Coffs Harbour and Albany.
Scott Morrison, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and chief nursing and midwifery officer Alison McMillan will also receive the Pfizer vaccination on Sunday
Victorian police used pepper spray on some protesters when they moved beyond cordons and at times, appeared to lose control of the crowd, an AAP photographer on scene said.
While some people were covered in pepper spray, crowds chanted, ‘freedom, freedom’.
The rally started peacefully but as speakers addressed the crowd ‘people started getting pretty fired up’, the photographer said.
Speakers made comments such as ‘God’s on our side’ and ‘it’s a fight between good and evil’.
At Sydney’s Hyde Park, controversial celebrity chef and conspiracy theorist Pete Evans was among the hundreds of protesters.
Evans, who has recently been banned from social media, addressed the crowd in Sydney.
Protesters marched with placards with slogans such as ‘herd immunity of vaccines is a scam’ and ‘your body, your choice’.