There was good news on Monday morning as residents and healthcare workers at the HSE facility, Plunkett Community Nursing Unit, in Boyle, Co. Roscommon received the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations.
93-year-old Seamus Beirne, originally from The Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, was in good spirits after he became the first resident to receive the vaccine.
“I feel good after getting the vaccination, it didn’t trouble me a bit. I didn’t feel it at all nearly, very little anyway. We’re missing the visitors as well – all we can do is look out of the window. Hopefully this will change when we all get the vaccine,” he said.
96-year-old Eileen Cox, a native of Grangemore in Boyle was one of the first ladies to receive the vaccine at Plunkett CNU.
She said: “I feel grand, I feel happy. I didn’t feel it at all – you’d get used to these injections! I do get the vaccination every year for the flu”.
Dr. Mary Butler, Director of Nursing at Plunkett CNU was delighted with how ‘Vaccine Day’ went at the facility.
“I have been looking forward to this day ‘Vaccine Day’ for some time – the vision of a resumption of normal life previously taken for granted, is now within reach. The vaccination programme is just another small step towards this. It means that staff and residents will feel more protected. It has added to improved confidence and greater resilience for staff against the Covid-19 virus,” she said.
Dr. Butler highlighted that staff in Plunkett CNU are essential frontline healthcare workers and have a strong commitment to taking the annual flu vaccination and are supported by having two qualified peer-to-peer Nurse Vaccinators on site, Ninan Thomas and Sheila Brehony.
“Staff report that they understand the benefits of all staff being vaccinated annually against the annual Flu virus and this year their enthusiasm in taking the Covid-19 vaccine has not faltered.”
Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West stated: “Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, we have endeavoured to protect and support the most vulnerable in our communities. Today was a momentous day for Plunkett CNU, Boyle.
“I want to extend my thanks to those who are committed to caring for our most vulnerable, ensuring they are kept as safe as possible. Thanks also to our Peer Vaccination team for the roll out of the vaccination programme.
“We all still need to be mindful and continue to follow HSE and Public Health advice, Covid-19 is still being transmitted in our communities – we need to stay alert, play our part, wear a mask, stay apart.
“However, now that we have the Covid-19 vaccine, there is indeed hope and light at the end of a very dark few months”.
All staff and residents vaccinated were 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 receive a second dose, to be fully protected, in three weeks.