Hope as vaccine rollout begins

In a week where Ireland recorded the highest daily number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world for every million people and one in every 43 people in Louth tested positive for the virus, some much needed hope arrived as the mammoth task of vaccination got underway.

John Monaghan, an 85 year-old man from Hunterstown Ardee, became the first person in a Louth nursing home to be vaccinated against COVID-19 last Thursday and over the last number of days many of our frontline workers and people in care homes have been given their vaccinations too as hospitals continue to battle against rising Covid-19 cases.

John’s vaccine was the first Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be administered by vaccinators at St Joseph’s Hospital, Ardee, Co Louth.

Speaking last Thursday John said, “I feel very privileged to be the first person in St Joseph’s Hospital to receive the vaccine. Like everyone else I have been waiting for the vaccine. It’s a great relief that the vaccine is eventually here and it provides hope for us all, especially the vulnerable, that we will be safe from Covid-19 and that our lives will return to normal.”

John was given a HSE vaccine information leaflet, along with more detailed manufacturer’s patient information leaflet, before getting the vaccine. Afterwards, each person vaccinated was given a vaccine record card, showing the name and batch of the vaccine they have received. They will each return for their second dose, to be fully protected, in three weeks.

Sarah McBride, Chief Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation said: “This is a day of hope for a better future. It is a good day for the residents and staff of St Joseph’s Hospital and we are delighted that we can start rolling out the vaccine for our community. I would particularly like to thank all of the healthcare workers in Midlands Louth Meath who worked tirelessly to make this day possible. I would also like to thank healthcare staff who have worked so hard at the frontline over the past year to protect our community from Covid-19 and support those who were affected by the virus. While today does offer us hope for a better future, it is important that we continue to adhere with all of necessary guidelines to keep safe while the vaccine is being rolled out over the coming weeks and months. It is important to remember that by wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing and practising good hand hygiene, you’re supporting frontline workers to maintain essential health services for the people of Midlands Louth Meath.”

Worldwide, vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives each year – and protect many more from crippling and lifelong illnesses. Only COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised by the European Medicines Agency, having met stringent safety and effectiveness standards, will be used in Ireland. All COVID-19 vaccines will be carefully monitored over time and updated safety data and information will be published and shared by the HSE, on our website and in our printed information materials.

Everyone can find factual, up-to-date information, based on scientific evidence on:

www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine
www.gov.ie/covid19vaccine 
www.hpra.ie 
www.who.int

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