The first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia had a funny greeting to the PM as the pair got their second jab to become fully vaccinated.
It was third time lucky for Jane Malysiak, who avoided accidentally flipping an obscene gesture to the nation as she received her final COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Ms Malysiak became the first person in Australia to become fully vaccinated after receiving her second Pfizer dose on Sunday, and was flanked by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Should we try one more V?” Mr Morrison asked.
The WWII survivor initially hesitated but, after a pointer from the prime minister, finally nailed the gesture for the cameras.
Ms Malysiak admitted she did not recognise Mr Morrison when they first met, but said after he was “much nicer than on television”.
But the pair seemed to strike a much more familiar rapport on Sunday.
“Last time I didn’t know who you were, but now I know who you are! … Are you ready?” she asked the Prime Minister.
“I’m all ready, I’m all ready,” Mr Morrison replied.
“Did it hurt last time?” she asked.
“No, no. You have the normal soreness you get on your arm after a vaccination, like from a flu shot. (It’s) nothing any different,” he said.
Mr Morrison confirmed over 150,000 doses had been administered across Australia since the rollout began three weeks ago.
The government had initially aimed to have 80,000 vaccines administered every week at the beginning of the rollout.
The government has come under fire for a sluggish beginning to the nation’s vaccine rollout, which it consistently said last would until October.
Mr Morrison on Sunday conceded it had bee a “careful start”, but repeated his claim Australians would receive their first vaccines by October.
“Three weeks down on the start of this program. It has been a careful staff, we have dealt with the significant disruptions to supply,” he said.
“We got underway when we said we would, we said we’d get to around about 80,000 in those in those initial phases a week. We have, and we will see that ramp up from here,” he said.
Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy said having two successful vaccines – the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine – rolling out by now seemed unlikely at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Nobody thought in their wildest dreams we would have really, really good vaccines for perhaps the end of this year,” he said.
“Both vaccines on the real world data that we have seen from the UK are equally efficacious. They are both very, very good vaccines.”