South Australia’s Premier, a health worker, a hotel guard and a police officer are among the first in the state to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Key points:

  • Health authorities expect to administer more than 1,700 doses this week
  • Premier Steven Marshall says the more people vaccinated, the safer SA will be
  • Hundreds of people gathered for a rally in Adelaide opposing the vaccine on Saturday

A total of 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been distributed between the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre, after arriving in Adelaide on a commercial flight from Sydney yesterday.

Premier Steven Marshall was the first to receive the vaccine, while Health Minster Stephen Wade, SA’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier and SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens also rolled up their sleeves for the jab.

A medi-hotel nurse, security guard and police sergeant were the first frontline workers to receive the vaccination, with authorities expecting to administer more than 1,700 doses this week.

Mr Marshall said the delivery of the first vaccines marked an “historic day” for South Australia.

“Less than a year ago we first started really ramping up our response to the global pandemic and here we are with the vaccine rollout,” he said.

“What we know is this is going to be done in a graduated process, 4,000 of the vaccinations were received into South Australia yesterday, there’s going to be another 8,000 coming very soon.

Dr Spurrier has urged the public to get the coronavirus vaccine.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

SA’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier, said the vaccine was the first step in being able to return to a situation “where we’re not having to be worried about the threat of the pandemic”.

“I’m encouraging, through my action today, for you, when it’s your turn to put your arm out and get that vaccine.”

Security review into medi-hotel breach

The comments coincided with the revelation that a security review was launched after a breach at one of the city’s medi-hotels.

Two male cleaners reportedly entered the Pullman Hotel through a backdoor earlier this month, despite it being a no-go zone.

Vaccine doses are being administered at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.(ABC News: Steve Opie)

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there had been no risk to the public as a result of the breach.

“This is a complex system that we’re operating, we’re relying on people, people do their very best but even in the best system you will have oversights, errors, and mistakes that are made,” he said.

“It’s about having the ability to recover from those and put the checks and balances in place so that the people who have made those mistakes receive the assistance they need.

“One of our steps is to make sure when we do have any sort of breaches, and we log every single breach, that they’re properly managed.”

On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered for a rally in Adelaide to express opposition to what organisers described as “enforced COVID-19 vaccinations”.

After a march through the city, a large crowd gathered on the steps of SA’s Parliament, holding placards with slogans including “my body, my choice”.

Mr Marshall said he understood some people were nervous about the vaccine, but insisted it was safe.

“Some people are a bit anxious about vaccinations … the simple facts of the matter are that the vaccination is safe and it’s really important to get it,” he said.

“The more people that are vaccinated, the safer that we’re going to be in South Australia.”

South Australia’s first batch of coronavirus vaccines touched down at Adelaide Airport.(ABC News: Charlotte Batty)

Managing Director for Pfizer Australia and New Zealand, Anne Harris, also urged Australians to embrace the vaccine.

“Protecting ourselves means that we also protect our family, our workplace and our community,” she said.

“Pfizer is on track to deliver 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Australia over the course of 2021, which will vaccinate 10 million citizens.”

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens receives the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)