COVID-19 vaccination rollout: Northern beaches man second in Australia to receive the jab

JAB TIME: Narrabeen man John Healy was the second person in Australia to receive the COVID-19 vaccination once the national rollout began on Monday. Picture: Supplied
JAB TIME: Narrabeen man John Healy was the second person in Australia to receive the COVID-19 vaccination once the national rollout began on Monday. Picture: Supplied

NARRABEEN man and great-grandfather John Healy has become the second person in Australia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the Wesley Taylor resident received his jab on Monday he was joined by Prime Minister Scott Morrison who thanked him for taking part.

"You could barely feel it, but if it means we can get out more, then it will be well worth it," Mr Healy said. "We're making history. I'm not sure why I'm the lucky one, but I'm delighted to be here.

"I haven't been afraid during the pandemic, I have my room and my music, and the staff have taken good care of us all. Even when there were cases on the northern beaches, I could still speak with my daughter, grandchildren and great-grandsons."

The 86-year-old said he felt fine after his vaccination, but did have some mild tenderness around the injection site. Staff said that mostly he Mr Healy was feeling elated to have met the Prime Minister.

Mr Healy is a former Commonwealth Bank manager who has travelled much of Australia but now enjoys the quieter life in the northern beaches. He has been married to Rhonda for more than 60 years, she lives in Wesley Mission's adjacent retirement village.

Wesley Taylor Narrabeen centre manager Sharon Brooks vaccination of the site's other aged care residents will commence on Wednesday, with staff to be vaccinated later according to the government's rollout.

"Given the proximity of the Northern Beaches outbreak to Wesley Taylor Narrabeen, we have been looking forward to the vaccine arriving. We see vaccination as the first step on the long road back to a sense of normality."

Wesley Mission chief executive officer Reverend Stu Cameron said staff have worked tirelessly to protect residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You could barely feel it, but if it means we can get out more, then it will be well worth it. We're making history. I'm not sure why I'm the lucky one, but I'm delighted to be here.

John Healy

"We're living through a global pandemic and all the challenges it has and continues to throw at us, even as we recognise how blessed we are as a nation compared with most others," he said. "The commitment of our families and residents to partner with us has been inspiring."

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