CALM and unfazed, aged care residents Elizabeth Lowday and Joan Armstrong say receiving the COVID-19 vaccination was a key step in a return to normal for the whole community.
The pair were among the first Ballarat residents to receive the highly-anticipated Pfizer vaccine to protect against the deadly virus with Ballarat Health Services officially rolling out its jab program from Monday.
Public aged care residents are top of the agenda, with high-risk frontline healthcare workers to wait until next week.
Ms Lowday, a James Thomas Court resident, said she could hardly wait to spend more quality time with her grandchildren and see more visitors once more people had a chance to take-up the vaccine.
The 83-year-old former aged care worker was proud to help show the community vaccination importance. She hoped to also draw on her occupational experience to help fellow residents through the experience.
I hope everyone's lives can come back together...You've got to give it a go, really, all you can do is give this a chance.Elizabeth Lowday, vaccine recipient
"I had a lot to do with dementia residents in my job and I know how to work with them - you've got to go into their world," Ms Lowday said. "When you're in a place like this, it can be hard for them to understand, especially when they're new.
"I hope everyone's lives can come back together again and people get their jobs back...Looking back on when the flu vaccine came out, you've seen the confidence in it. You've got to give it a go, really, all you can do is give this a chance."
Ms Lowday said out of bad times, good things can happen and she hoped the past year had been a reflective one, for example, in teaching younger people the importance in keeping a budget.
Fellow resident Joan Armstrong, aged 88, remembers similar public concerns when the polio vaccine was introduced - and it had near-eradicated disease.
Ms Armstrong's wish, like Ms Lowday, was for people to consider getting a COVID-19 vaccination to help protect the community and get back to everyday life.
BHS has an initial Pfizer delivery to give the first of two Pfizer vaccine shots to residents at its 10 public facilities by the week's end.
These doses are from a carefully managed thawed delivery of the vaccine from Melbourne and administered by a specially trained Ballarat Health Services vaccination team.
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