Monday, 22 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House about how the Morrison government's rollout of vaccines and plans for economic recovery are charting an Australian way out of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I thank the member for Bennelong for his question. He—like all the other members of this chamber, I'm sure—is thrilled that a new chapter has begun in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the commencement of the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine all around the country from today. Every day gets better from here in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, because every single day more and more Australians are receiving the vaccine, which is critical to, firstly, protecting them from serious illness and potentially something even worse than that. That was our most serious concern at the outset of this pandemic—that the vaccination does this.
Equally, the vaccination program begins with those who are most vulnerable in our community and those who are on the front line of our community, including the wonderful Jane Malysiak, an 84-year-old from Marayong, who came to this country when she was just 13 years old, after the Second World War, having survived something absolutely horrible in Poland and coming to this country. Here she took part as the first person to receive that vaccine.
In some 240 aged-care facilities across the country and 16 major public hospitals, 60,000 Australians living and working in aged care and disabilities care will receive that COVID-19 vaccine first along with frontline workers. This is a new era of confidence for Australians in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank all of the medical experts who have done such extraordinary work, those from our departments of health and those who work in the health system, at the federal level and at the state level, as right across the country today they continue to roll it out. Zoe Park is a COVID nurse at the Gold Coast University Hospital, Gayathry is a COVID environmental social services supervisor at RPA Hospital in Sydney, Professor Rhonda Stuart's team cared for many COVID patients at Monash health centre in Melbourne, Maddy Williams is a COVID nurse at Canberra Hospital, Antonia Garza and Keita Winks are COVID vaccine nurses at a Perth COVID vaccination centre and of course there's the Premier of South Australia—these Australians are putting their shoulder to the jab, like 60,000 other Australians will put their shoulder to the jab.
I would only encourage people to follow the advice of Jane Malysiak, 84, of Sydney. Jane put it simply today: 'Everybody, go and get it so you will be safe.' That's Jane's advice to the country. As more and more Australians take up this vaccine, we invite them to join that group which will grow each and every day and which will continue to bolster confidence and ensure that the comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic continues.