First COVID-19 vaccines in South Australia

SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier says she has full confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine.
SA Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier says she has full confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine.

The premier, the state's police commissioner and health officials leading the charge against COVID-19 have been among the first to get the coronavirus vaccine in South Australia.

After 4000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived on Sunday, the long-awaited rollout began on Monday morning with SA targeting frontline workers in the initial phase.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said she was "so excited" that the vaccination program was underway.

"It's been a gruelling 12 months for so many of us," she said.

"People have lost their jobs, we've had business impacted and the border closures have had such a profound effect on so many South Australians.

"With this vaccine, it's the next step in being able to prevent this pandemic and the effects that it has had on our society."

Professor Spurrier said she had full confidence in the safety of the jab and urged as many people as possible to take part.

"I feel very privileged to be among the first people in Australia to receive this vaccine," she said.

Of SA's initial supply, 3000 doses will be distributed from the Royal Adelaide Hospital and 1000 from the Flinders Medical Centre.

Among the first frontline workers to take part was nurse Annabel Thomas who has worked in Adelaide's quarantine hotels and who also spent time in Victoria during Melbourne's second-wave of infections last year.

"I can't stress enough to all South Australians that vaccination is a vital part of getting back to life pre-COVID," she said.

"I'd strongly suggest everyone be a part of this program."

Premier Steven Marshall said the vaccine program was vital to ensure South Australia could continue to enjoy a low level of restrictions.

"What we've also seen so far from other jurisdictions is that as they roll out the vaccine they are massively reducing those people who are needing critical care," he said.

"We've seen some devastating scenes around the world. We don't want those scenes here in South Australia."

Australian Associated Press