Scott Morrison has invited the grandmother who accidentally made the ‘up yours’ gesture on live TV after her first Covid vaccine to get their booster shots together.
The Prime Minister phoned 84-year-old grandmother Jane Malysiak from his Parliament House office on Wednesday after booster jabs were approved for all adults.
‘I’m ringing you to let you know we’re going to have to go and get our boosters shots soon,’ he said in a video of the conversation shared with Daily Mail Australia.
‘Oh yeah, alright. I’ll be waiting for you,’ a smiling Ms Malysiak replied.
Jane Malysiak hit headlines for accidentally swearing while trying to make a peace sign after her jab at Castle Hill Medical Centre in Sydney in February (pictured above)
The grandmother, who migrated to Australia from Poland after World War II, became the first Aussie to get a Covid vaccination at the start of the rollout in February with Mr Morrison watching on.
She hit headlines for accidentally swearing at the cameras while trying to make a peace sign after her jab at Castle Hill Medical Centre in Sydney’s north-west.
During the phone call, Ms Malysiak referenced her mishap but made the same mistake again.
‘And you’ll have to remember this,’ she said, holding her fingers up the wrong way and accidentally swearing at the Prime Minister.
Mr Morrison laughed and said ‘other way’ as Ms Malysiak turned her fingers around.
‘Look I cannot get it, I’ve been trying all the time but I still don’t know which is the right way,’ she joked.
Mr Morrison said ‘it’s good to see you in such high spirits Jane’ and she joked that he was her ‘boyfriend’.
‘Well I try to be, and I always watch you on television. I remember the first time I met you, my lovely boyfriend,’ she said.
The Prime Minister later told Ms Malysiak he would send her a Christmas card with a picture of his wife Jenny, his two daughters and their dog Buddy.
‘Oh lovely, you are lovely,’ she responded.
The PM signed off the call by saying: ‘I’ll see you at the doctors’.
Why are boosters being offered?
Overseas data showed the effectiveness of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines at stopping infections decreases over time.
A study in the UK in August showed two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine were 88 per cent effective at stopping infection after one month but that dropped to 74 per cent after five months.
The effectiveness of AstraZeneca dropped from 77 to 67 per cent.
Pfizer says its booster can restore effectiveness to 96 per cent.
Mr Morrison will get his booster shot alongside Ms Malysiak in the coming weeks with a date yet to be decided.
Boosters in aged care will start being rolled out on Thursday and the general population will have access from November 8, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on Wednesday after they were approved by the drug regulator, the TGA.
The boosters will be the Pfizer vaccine regardless of which jab the patient had before and will be administered at least six months after the second dose.
The move makes Australia only the second country in the world – after Israel – to offer booster shots to all ages.
The US offers them to those over 65 and high risk workers while the UK offers third jabs to residents over 55 and frontline workers.
Drug regulator boss Professor John Skerritt said two doses were effective at stopping severe illness but boosters could help stop mild infections.
‘We do know that boosters may give additional protection against mild Covid and they may have an impact on transmission and we do know that in the elderly, and people of various shades that an additional dose is valuable,’ he said.
He said mixing and matching the vaccines ‘gives a really good immune response’.
AstraZeneca has not applied to give booster shots of its vaccine but the Government expects Moderna will shortly submit an application.
After her first vaccination Ms Malysiak was posing for photos when Mr Morrison encouraged her to give a peace sign for the cameras, telling her it means ‘V for vaccine’.
But Ms Malysiak inadvertently threw up the universal sign for ‘up yours’ by turning her hand the other way around.
Photographers, health workers and reporters erupted into laughter, before Mr Morrison quickly pushed Ms Malysiak’s hand down, jokingly telling her ‘always front, always front’.
Australia has vaccinated 74.8 per cent of over 16s and 87.4 per cent have had at least one dose.
Jane Malysiak, 84, received the first Covid-19 vaccination in Australia next to Prime Minister Scott Morrison in February