South Australian Premier Steven Marshall today became the first person in the state to receive the coronavirus vaccine, followed by Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier.
Others among the first 150 frontline health workers to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Royal Adelaide Hospital this morning included a medi-hotel nurse, a security guard and a police officer.
Health Minister Stephen Wade and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens also rolled up their sleeves to receive the jab.
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The state expects about 1700 workers to be vaccinated by the end of the week and 12,000 after three weeks.
Also from today, aged care residents in 17 South Australian suburbs and towns will begin receiving the vaccination.
Mr Marshall hailed the rollout as an “historic day” for the state.
“Less than a year ago we first started really ramping up our response to the global pandemic and here we are with the vaccine rollout,” he said.
Professor Spurrier said it was a first step in South Australia returning to normal life.
“We want to lift the restrictions, we want to go back to a society where we’re not having to be worried about the threat of the pandemic,” she said.
“It would be very difficult to open our international borders unless we have a highly vaccinated community here in South Australia and indeed across Australia.”
Professor Spurrier said she was “privileged” to be among the first in line for the vaccine and hoped to send a message to other South Australians the jab is safe.
“I can’t expect other South Australians to have the vaccine unless I’ve had it,” she said.
“And so I’m encouraging through my action today, for you when it’s your turn, to put your arm out and get that vaccine.”