HISTORY-MAKING JAB: Warwick’s Dr Chris Hegarty becomes Warwick's first coronavirus vaccinated patient.
HISTORY-MAKING JAB: Warwick’s Dr Chris Hegarty becomes Warwick's first coronavirus vaccinated patient.

MAKING HISTORY: Warwick docs first to get COVID vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccine in Warwick has officially been delivered with hopes the rollout will help the Rose City return to normality.

The first COVID-19 vaccine in Warwick has officially been delivered with hopes the rollout will help the Rose City return to normality.

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out across Warwick with the first vaccines going to those in the Phase 1A category, which are workers on the frontline including hospital staff in the public health unit, emergency departments, intensive care units and high-dependency units.

Warwick doctors Blair Koppen and Chris Hegarty encouraged residents to get vaccinated when the time came.
Warwick doctors Blair Koppen and Chris Hegarty encouraged residents to get vaccinated when the time came.

Doctor Chris Hegarty and Warwick Hospital Medical Superintendent Doctor Blair Koppen were the two first candidates to get the jab.

Dr Hegarty said he didn’t realise he was receiving the history-making first shot until it was over, noting the jab and observation period took less time than eating lunch.

“It’s a bit of a privilege,” he said. .

“I guess it’s no big deal to be the first one here, it’s just the right thing to do.”

Dr Chris Hegarty becomes Warwick's first coronavirus vaccinated patient.
Dr Chris Hegarty becomes Warwick's first coronavirus vaccinated patient.

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He also urged naysayers of the vaccine to rethink their stance.

“It’s a sensible thing to have some concerns but it’s like everything – when you weigh up the huge potential benefits against the small concerns, it just seems a no-brainer to have it,” Dr Hegarty said.

Dr Blair Koppen was second in line to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Warwick Hospital on Wednesday.
Dr Blair Koppen was second in line to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Warwick Hospital on Wednesday.

It was something second-in-line Dr Koppen agreed with.

“It’s passed TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration), the blood clots in Europe are less than the general population, you can have an anaphylactic reaction to anything, and there’s a safety questionnaire for any high-risk people,” he said.

It comes as the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout is suspended in Spain Germany, France and Italy due to blood clot concerns.

The Warwick rollout will occur in the remodelled coronavirus outbreak ward.
The Warwick rollout will occur in the remodelled coronavirus outbreak ward.

The local rollout will occur in the Warwick Hospital.

Director of Nursing Anita Bolton said she was proud to see the hospital endeavour into the vaccination stage.

“With a high vaccination rate, it will open the world again,” she said.

“This is the first step to heading back to life as we know it, and we’re so blessed to have this space.”

It is not known how many vaccines are available in the Warwick 1A rollout, but vaccinated patients will return for a second dose in 12 weeks.



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