As Australia prepares for COVID-19 inoculations, PM Morrison gets vaccinated

As Australia prepares to start coronavirus inoculations this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received his jab.

Morrison’s vaccination was televised on Sunday in order to help boost confidence in the vaccine rollout across Australia.

The actual vaccinations will officially begin on Monday and at least 60,000 doses are expected to be administered next week.

On Saturday, small crowds of anti-vaccination demonstrators gathered to protest against the launch.

The Prime Minister was part of a small group of people vaccinated on Sunday along with some frontline health workers and care home residents. Australia’s chief nurse Professor Alison McMillan and Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly were also immunised.

Morrison in a speech before his vaccination, said: “Tomorrow our vaccination programme starts, so as a curtain raiser today we’re here making some very important points; that it’s safe, that it’s important, and we need to start with those who are most vulnerable and are on the front line.”

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85-year-old Jane Malysiak was the first person to be vaccinated in the country.

The Pfizer vaccine will be the first vaccinations in Australia, which has been granted approval for use.

The medical regulator in Australia has earlier this week also been granted provisional approval for the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which is expected to be rolled out next month. Health Minister Greg Hunt says he will receive the AstraZeneca vaccne in the coming weeks.  

Both vaccines have undergone extensive safety checks and are already being used in several countries.

An estimated four million people in Australia are expected to be inoculated by early march.

The priority groups in the first round include the 700,000 frontline workers in the health sector, border enforcement and care homes, along with the residents of care homes.

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Following that, Australians aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 55, healthcare workers, adults with underlying health conditions and emergency services workers will be next.

On Saturday protests were held in cities including Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane against the vaccination rollout.

The rallies on Saturday were joined by a few thousand people in total, according to broadcaster ABC.

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