Australia

First COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Perth

WA’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines have touched down in Perth.

The 5000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine arrived at Perth Airport just after 1pm and will be taken to a secure facility ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated roll out.

Hotel quarantine workers, police, security and medical support staff, airport workers, seaport workers who have contact with international arrivals and staff involved in the transport of flight crews will be among the first West Australians to receive the jab on Monday.

It is understood, 3900 of the vaccines will be given to those workers as part of Phase 1a. The remaining 1,100 will be distributed in aged care homes by the Federal Government.

The doses will be administered at the State’s first vaccine clinic at the Hyatt Hotel by a team from Perth Children’s Hospital’s Child Adolescent Health Service.

There are also plans for further vaccine clinics to be set up at Fremantle Port and Perth Airport later this week.

More than 200 people have already signed up for the vaccine, with Health Minister Roger Cook Look saying today that he expected most if not more will receive the jab tomorrow.

All those people out there in the community who are creating confusion and anxiety in people’s minds about the vaccine, I would tell them to stop it, stop it.

He also encouraged those who were ambivalent about getting vaccinated to trust the experts.

“My message to all Western Australians, is that it’s the science that has protected us during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“It’s our public health experts that have provided us with the advice, to give us guidance. If the scientists and the public health experts are telling you that the vaccine is safe and the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved its distribution in Australia, you can have hope that this vaccine is safe, and that it’s effective.

“We know that it’s the science which has protected Western Australians, and it’s the science which will take us forward.

“All those people out there in the community who are creating confusion and anxiety in people’s minds about the vaccine, I would tell them to stop it, stop it. This vaccine… it will stop severe illness, and it will protect Western Australians.”

Camera IconThe first batch of COVID vaccine is carried from Perth Airport accompanied by a police escort (unmarked cars). Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Those people who are eligible for the jab would have received an invitation from the Department of Health inviting them to register. Once they have completed their registration that will then be sent a link to book an appointment.

They will then be required to have a second jab three or four weeks later.

However, the Pfizer vaccine does not offer 100 per cent protection with clinical studies showing it reduced the risk of COVID-19 symptoms by 90 per cent.

On its website, the Department of Health says no vaccine offers perfect protection and advised those who have received the jab to continue to practice COVID-safe behaviours such as hand washing and physical distancing.

The arrival of the vaccines coincides with news the security guard at the centre of WA’s snap five-day lockdown was no longer in hotel quarantine.

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