‘It’s an exciting day’: Vaccine rollout begins across the nation
The first Victorians have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as rollout begins in earnest across the country with the state allocated 12,000 doses for the first week, growing to 60,000 next month.
Those deemed high risk and essential workers are first in line and will receive the jab at nine specialized hubs, equipped with super-cooler freezers, set up across the state.
The first to operate are hubs at Austin Health, Sunshine Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and University Hospital Geelong.
Professor Rhonda Stuart, who treated Australia’s first COVID cases, became the first Victorian among 100 health care workers, to receive the jab at Monash Health on Monday.
Associate professor Paul Griffin director of infectious diseases at Monash University says the Pfizer jab provides “good rates of protection.”
“We’re going to use it as it was used in the clinical trials and as intended, in that we’ll get the two jabs, but we do see good rates of protection even after one,” he told Ross and Russell on 3AW Breakfast.
“It’s an exciting day.”
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The good news gets better as new research has found those already exposed to the virus have a higher immunity response.
Senior research fellow from the Doherty Institute Dr Jennifer Juno says the wide-ranging study will provide a good baseline of data.
“We followed the immune responses from just over 60 different people who recovered from a fairly mild COVID-19 infection, and then we looked at different aspects of their immune response,” she told Ross and Russell on 3AW Breakfast.
“Over time the antibody levels in some of the different immune cells did go down, which is exactly what we would expect, but there was a specific type of immune cell called ‘B cells’ that actually increased in their levels over time.
“These are the cells that are actually responsible for producing new antibodies.”
The rollout comes as Victoria recorded it’s third day in a row of no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19.
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Healthy Minister Martin Foley said it’s important front line workers are the first to get it.
“I want to make sure that the nature of their work is recognized (and) those front line workers, people in residential aged care and disability settings, are really at the front of the queue.”