'I feel very privileged': Grandmother (79) first in Ireland to receive vaccine

'I feel very privileged': Grandmother (79) first in Ireland to receive vaccine

round 10,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Ireland on St Stephen's Day.

A 79-year-old grandmother from Dublin has become the first person in the Republic to receive a coronavirus vaccination.

Annie Lynch received the vaccine at St James's Hospital in Dublin.

It was the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 jab to be administered at four hospitals across the country: St James's and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway.

Mrs Lynch said: "I feel very privileged to be the first person in Ireland to receive the vaccine.

"Like everyone else I have been waiting for the vaccine and I really feel like there is a bit of hope there now. It's brilliant that it's here. Everything was explained very clearly to me beforehand."

Annie Lynch is the first person to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland.
Annie Lynch is the first person to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland.

Mrs Lynch, who lives in Drimnagh and was born in Christchurch, grew up in The Liberties.

Her husband John died in September. She has three children and 10 grandchildren.

She is a resident at the Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing at St James's.

Bernie Waterhouse, a clinical nurse manager on a Covid-19 ward at St James's, was the first healthcare worker in Ireland to get the vaccine.

"I wanted to get the vaccine to protect myself, and the people I work with and care for every day, from Covid-19."

Around 10,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Ireland on St Stephen's Day.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first to be approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency.

Around 40,000 doses will arrive in Ireland every week throughout January and February.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: "Today is a ray of light after what has been a trying year in our country.

"It is testament to the work of the medical and scientific communities that we now have safe and effective vaccines to help to protect us against the devastating effects of Covid-19.

"Our healthcare workers have worked day and night to care for their patients throughout this pandemic.

"While vaccines will help us in the fight against this pandemic, Covid-19 is still a threat to health and to our health services, and we must do everything we can to slow its spread."

The rollout of the vaccine to nursing home residents and staff is expected to start next week.

It will be administered across a three-week period in a full sweep followed by a second three-week programme.

A great start

Paul Reid, HSE chief executive, said: "This vaccine has the power to protect people from Covid-19, and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this terrible virus.

"I am very proud to see the vaccinations commence today, safely, with thorough vaccinator training and patient-centred communications at its heart.

"As we know, the vaccines will be delivered in stages - we're starting in acute hospitals initially, and will move into long-term care facilities from next week, but this is a great start to an historic process."

Mary Day, chief executive at St James's, said: "St James's Hospital is very proud to be the first hospital to offer the vaccine to our patients and staff today.

"All of our colleagues, our patients and their families have endured a difficult year as a result of Covid.

"While we have more to do, the hope that today brings is really welcome, and I thank our vaccinators and all our staff whose hard work ensured we are up and running, protecting our team and our patients, from today."

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