NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has received her first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, heralding the jab's rollout as an opportunity to rethink restrictions and eventually resume international travel.
Ms Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Wednesday received their initial jab at St George Hospital in Sydney.
It came as NSW recorded its 52nd straight day without a local COVID-19 case in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, as well as five cases in hotel quarantine.
About 27,000 people around NSW have received their first COVID-19 jab so far, not including those in the state's aged care facilities.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters the state remains on track to reach its target of 35,000 first-dose vaccinations in the first three weeks of the program.
She reiterated the efficacy of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs were the same, with most of the Australian population to receive the former.
The first administered doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been imported but Australian-made doses will be ready from 22 March.
"We know when the vast majority of the population is vaccinated, that increases our ability to not only ease restrictions but start thinking beyond our national borders and what it means for international travel," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We know the biggest hindrance to our economic development and growth in the next little while will be our ability to open up to the rest of the world."
Ms Berejiklian added NSW had also received new syringes which would enable the extraction of six doses from a vaccine vial, rather than five.
All COVID-19 vaccines remain available solely to those identified in phase 1a and 1b of the federal government's vaccine rollout.
At least 1300 GP clinics in NSW will be accredited to administer the AstraZeneca jab when widespread vaccination takes off.
"We can't move forward in terms of easing restrictions or thinking about the future unless the vast majority of people get vaccinated," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Some phases and stages may take longer than what was anticipated but NSW is ready to assist."
Ms Berejiklian, Mr Hazzard and Dr Chant will receive their second AstraZeneca dose of the vaccine in 12 weeks' time.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
St George Hospital general manager Paul Darcy welcomed the establishment of a COVID-19 vaccination hub at the southern Sydney facility.
"Today is an exciting milestone in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to providing vaccinations to more and more people from our community as the roll out expands," Mr Darcy said in a statement.
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