‘It’s fine’: Sick MP’s message to others on vaccine
A Labor MP with breast cancer, who has become one of the first immunocompromised Australians to receive the coronavirus vaccine, has told others with underlying health issues the jab is "safe".
Peta Murphy, who found out she had metastatic breast cancer in 2019 - eight years after first going into remission - was given her first Pfizer dose at Canberra Hospital yesterday.
"I'm fine, my arm just feels like it does after the flu vaccine," she said.
Ms Murphy has had radiation treatment and is now on hormone therapy and other drugs as she battles her cancer diagnosis.
"My understanding from my oncologist is that I might be a little more likely to catch (COVID-19) and be less likely to be able to fight it off," she said.
She said she was happy to take part in the early rollout to show other people with underlying health conditions that the vaccine was okay.
"I wouldn't ask people to do something I wasn't willing to do," she said.
However, Ms Murphy said she would encourage people with cancer and other illnesses to talk to their GPs and specialists to get advice about taking the vaccine.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Greens leader Adam Bandt also got their first Pfizer jabs to show bipartisan support for the rollout.
Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been deemed safe for immunocompromised people by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Infectious disease expert Professor Peter Collignon said people with underlying conditions may not be able to fight a COVID-19 infection as well as others and should take the jab as advised.
"People should have either vaccine when it is the appropriate risk group for them," he said. "On all the available evidence the vaccines are both reasonably safe and efficacious."
An additional 166,000 doses of Pfizer was flown into Sydney yesterday ahead of the second week of Australia's Phase 1A rollout for aged care residents and priority frontline workers.
The precious cargo was taken to a special cold storage facility in a secret Western Sydney location where it will undergo batch testing before being sent to vaccination hubs around the country.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government would only release 80,000 of the new doses, with the remainder to be held to ensure there is enough for recipients to receive their second jabs.
"We'll make 80,000 doses available over the coming week: 50,000 to the states, 30,000 to aged care through the Commonwealth," he said.
About 1300 people were vaccinated in NSW on the first day of the state's inoculation rollout.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "really pleased" with the numbers of jabs received on day one.
"Of course that will scale up," she said.
The 1300 people given their first doses at Liverpool, Westmead and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals did not include those receiving the jab in aged care homes.
Australia's vaccine heroine Jane Malysiak was feeling great with no symptoms more than 48 hours after getting the country's first shot.
COVID WARNING FOR 110,000 SYDNEYSIDERS
More than 110,000 people have been put on alert in Sydney's southwest after COVID-19 was detected in sewage surveillance.
Fragments of the coronavirus were found on the Auburn Sewage Network that serves more than 110,000 people - the second recent detection in the area.
NSW Health officials have advised residents in 24 suburbs to get tested because it is unclear whether the virus fragments are from new cases or from recently recovered cases in the area.
The suburbs are Condell Park, Bankstown, Potts Hill, Birrong, Sefton, Bass Hill, Chester Hill, Regents Park, Chullora, Homebush West, Strathfield, Rookwood, Sydney Olympic Park, Newington, Granville, Clyde, Lidcombe, Auburn, South Granville, Guildford, Silverwater, Rosehill, Berala and Yagoona.
"Please be alert for symptoms … NSW Health is urging everyone to be vigilant for symptoms and to get tested immediately and isolate if they appear," a NSW Health statement read.
Meanwhile, NSW recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 through to 8pm on Monday. Four cases were acquired in overseas travellers.
"While today marks 37 days with no reported locally acquired cases in NSW, there is still a risk of COVID-19 spreading into the community," NSW Health statement added.
"New cases among overseas arrivals are regularly detected, making it critical for everyone to come forward for testing with the mildest of symptoms."
TV FAVOURITE RETURNS AFTER COVID HIATUS
Gogglebox favourite Emmie Silbery is ready and willing to have her COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
The 91-year-old is eager to get life back to normal as soon as possible, including filming again on TV series Gogglebox alongside daughter Kerry and granddaughter Isabelle.
"I will have to have it, otherwise I might die," Silbery said. "I feel like I should have it because it is like any other injection, if we refuse to have injections for our children, what would happen?"
Silbery returns to the fold on the hit Foxtel series, that also screens on Channel 10, after having to step aside due to the coronavirus pandemic last year.
At her age, she is high risk and therefore production couldn't include her in filming last season.
Instead, she has been watching on television along with the many hundreds of thousands of fans of the format.
"The thing I love about it is that people get joy out of what we do," she said. "That brings me a lot of pleasure, especially if you meet someone on the street and you get such good vibes from what they say to you. It makes you feel as though you are important or you are doing something nice for people."
Of her mother returning, Melbourne-based Isabelle said: "We know the three of us that it is really rare to see three generations of women, real women of mum and Em's age expressing their opinions and even their intergenerational banter, it is something really special. We are quite proud of being a part of the show in that way."
Originally published as 'It's fine': Sick MP's message to others on vaccine