By Bev Jordan
Instant celebrity status was bestowed on 84-year-old Jane Malysiak who became the first Australian to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The aged care resident had Prime Minister Scott Morrison by her side when she received the Pfizer vaccine at Castle Hill Medical Centre on Sunday (February 21).
Frontline workers, Mr Morrison, Chief Health officer Paul Kelly and Chief Nursing officer Prof Alison McMillon, were amongst the 20 people to be vaccinated at Castle Hill that day.
Mrs Malysiak told ABC radio: “I wasn’t nervous. I have had no side effects, everyone should just go and get a jab.” The 84-year-old is a patient at MyHealth Kable Street in Windsor.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “This is an historic day for Australia. What we’re demonstrating today is our confidence. I am supremely confident in the expert process that has been led to get us to this day. So, from tomorrow, tens of thousands of Australians over the course of the next week will confidently come forward from those key priority groups that have been defined to ensure that we move into this next phase of how we’ve been preparing and dealing with COVID-19.”
The first stage of the roll-out will see nurses delivering vaccines to aged care residents. Frontline health workers, border and quarantine staff are being administered in hospital hubs.
The first phase is expected to take about six weeks and reach 600,000 people.
The next phase due to start in late March will focus of those over 80 and then those between 70 and 79, other healthcare workers and people who are immune-supressed.
Phase 2a will start in the middle of next year and include other critical and high-risk workers plus adults over the age of 50.
The goal is to immunise 20 million people by October.
Castle Hill Medical centre at Castle Mall will be part of the wider roll-out. It has a dedicated Respiratory Clinic for the COVID-19 testing and in the last year has tested over 6,500 individuals.
Castle Hill Medical Centre GP Dr Nigel Grebert, who was vaccinated said: “I believe it’s the medical centres and general practitioners across the continent that will play a very important role in this stage of the pandemic.
“We’ve all done our bit over the last 12 months in providing ongoing support as front-line medical teams in our communities, but we’re not done yet.”
“Clinimetrix (a complete analytics tool available for medical practices across Australia) allowed management to think on its feet when the pandemic first hit last year and patients stayed home.
“Not only has it delivered the insight and understanding around our database – we have 10,400 patients over 70 and 8,000 of our patients have chronic disease – it has also allowed us to report back accurately and seamlessly on managing the COVID-19 pandemic as a team.”
When medical centres become part of the roll-out Castle Hill Medical Centre has nurses to deliver 800 vaccines a day.
Alex Hawke MP, said: “Our message is simple – the vaccines are safe and effective. Get vaccinated and help Australia out of this pandemic.”
As Minister for Immigrations, citizenship, migrant services and multicultural Affairs, Mr Hawke said: “I think multicultural communities are also embracing the concept of vaccination as the wider community is, and from the government’s perspective, we have a series of consultations, roundtables with community leaders, faith leaders, some of which have been mentioned today.
“There’s so much diversity in the Australian community. We thought about translations in about 60 languages, there’s communications would be in every single one of those languages. There’s video communications. We’re working with the Multicultural Council of Australia as well to ensure that every part of the vaccination message is delivered to every community in Australia. “