Victoria's oldest person, 109, gets COVID jab

Joan Bush, 109, rolls up her sleeve for COVID vaccination

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Joan Bush, 109, gets her COVID-19 vaccination.

Joan Bush, 109, gets her COVID-19 vaccination.


Joan Bush was one of 75 residents at Melbourne' s Weary Dunlop Retirement Village to be vaccinated.


When Victoria's oldest person, Joan Bush, was offered a cup of tea just moments after receiving her COVID-19 vaccination, she didn't skip a beat.

"Or something stronger," the 109-year-old shot back.

Mrs Bush was among more than 75 aged care residents at Ryman Healthcare's Weary Dunlop Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill to be vaccinated on Monday.

Born in the UK two days before the Titanic sank, she emigrated to Australia in 1946 with her late husband.

Mrs Bush's son, Richard Bush, said his mother volunteered at Meals on Wheels to offer food and compassion to older and vulnerable people while raising a family of her own.

"She was a very generous lady. She has looked after her family and loved her children and grandchildren and she is now a great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren."


Mr Bush said his mother's "remarkable age is a tribute to good health and good fortune".

"A sherry every night with her husband no doubt contributed to her good health."

Ryman Healthcare's operations quality manager Joanne Wang said more than 95 per cent of Weary Dunlop's care centre residents had opted to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

"Joan's family is very supportive of the vaccination program, not just to protect her but also to protect other family members.

"They will be coming to see her at the village so that just provides an extra layer of protection."

Fellow Weary Dunlop resident June Potter, 97, was at the front of the queue to get vaccinated.

Mrs Potter recalls how polio ravaged much of the world in the 1940s and 1950s, and that her mother kept her home from school to protect her from it.

"I've seen what these kinds of diseases can do," she said.

"When I went [to get vaccinated] I had no doubt. I thought that I might be sorry if I didn't. It's about protecting everyone."

Mrs Potter said she hopes people getting vaccinated will help get life back to normal for everyone.

"Getting the vaccine was nothing. I would say to other people: have it."

Meanwhile Victoria recorded an upsurge in the number of people being immunised on Monday during day one of the new rollout phase.

Across the state, just under 7000 people got the jab in the 24 hours to midnight on the first day that all people aged 50 and over became eligible for the vaccine.

That was up on the 3839 immunisations over the same period a week ago.