Warning for anti-vaxxers ahead of vaccine rollout
Anti-vaxxers who don't want to get a COVID jab "must be completely crackers," Health Minister Brad Hazzard says.
More than 35,000 critical hotel quarantine and healthcare workers will get their first COVID jab from Monday when the Pfizer jab is initially rolled out over a three-week period in NSW.
Mr Hazzard said Monday will be a "monumental day for NSW and for all of us" but fired shots at conspiracy theorists.
"If you don't want to have the vaccine, you haven't lived through what we've lived through, and you must be completely crackers," he said.
"I can't wait for the vaccine."
He said it is now almost 13 months since we were forced to deal with the pandemic in NSW.
Healthcare workers with the greatest exposure to potential COVID cases will also be included in the first round of jabs.
The vaccines will be administered in three 'hubs' at Westmead, Liverpool, and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals.
Security guards working in hotel quarantine who refuse to get the jab could be out of a job.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it's the government's "intention" to ensure everyone working in the border program gets the jab.
"With more than 3,000 people arriving in Sydney from overseas each week, priority is being given to quarantine workers to mitigate the risk of an outbreak, and protect those protecting us".
"Our intention is that anyone who works in the quarantine system gets the vaccination. During a pandemic you need to make those decisions to keep the community safe. The vast majority of people are looking forward to their turn (receiving the vaccination).
"The risk of mass community transition is greatly reduced (by taking the vaccine). It is a good step, another step in stopping the virus from getting out in the community," she said.
Ms Berejiklian also urged NSW residents to remain vigilant and on alert for COVID symptoms, despite the vaccine rollout.
"It is more important than ever before. Just because the vaccine rollout has started it doesn't mean we can relax," she said.
"We will have something to say about what happens after the next three weeks shortly. I want to thank everyone involved in the process."
Mr Hazzard also issued a message for residents not in the first round of vaccinations.
"For the time being be patient and allow our frontline staff to get their vaccines," he said.
NSW has recorded its 31st day without a locally transmitted case of COVID-19.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said her team is watching the situation in Victoria as the state's five day lockdown ends tonight.
Originally published as Warning for anti-vaxxers ahead of vaccine rollout