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The first 20 people in Australia to get the COVID-19 vaccine have spoken out about what the experience was like and what it meant to them.

A group of 20 Defence and Border Force personnel, doctors, disability care workers and vulnerable Australians got the vaccine yesterday alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Applause filled Castle Hill Medical Centre as Polish World War II survivor Jane Malysiak was the first Australian to get the vaccine.

Other older Aussies who have survived wars followed her lead.

John Healy, 87, received the nation’s second dose and said that the COVID pandemic has been “a great pity”.

“But if people get this injection and it does what they say it’s going to do, it’ll be all over,” he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“Don’t be worried. They wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t safe,” Laurel Grey, 88, said, encouraging others to get the jab.

Jon Buttenshaw, a member of the Australian Border Force personnel who works directly with travellers at the airport, said that “this is the way forward”.

“(People who get the jab) will be part of the solution, and this is the way forward. So we can travel again”.

Aged care resident Paul Russell said he “enjoyed the whole experience”.

“The more people that get vaccinated the better. My flu jab last year hurt more than this one did,” he joked.

From today, almost 200 NSW HEalth staff will be involved in rolling out the first Pfizer jabs to more than 35,100 critical workers over three weeks in vaccination hubs at Royal Prince Alfred, Liverpool and Westmead hospitals.

The entire process is expected to take about 90 minutes per person, with the vaccination hubs having the capacity to innoculate between 50 to 100 people per hour.

However, workers are being warned that the jabs might progress more slowly as staff get used to new systems and processes.

Castle Hill Medical Centre’s Dr Nigel Grebert said the vaccine rollout is “the sort of thing that we’ve been looking forward to and planning for months”.

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout schedule can be seen here.

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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