A 101-year-old resident was the first to receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at Oaklodge Nursing Home in East Cork on Thursday morning.
Peg Curtin was the first person to complete the Covid-19 vaccination programme at the nursing home in Cloyne which vaccinated 98% of its residents and staff against the virus. 2% of staff and residents opted against vaccination for medical reasons.
A total of 60 residents and 72 members of staff at Oaklodge received their second dose of the vaccine which is being administered to 40,000 residents and 30,000 staff in Ireland’s 580 nursing homes this week.
On receiving her second dose, Peg Curtin, a former librarian and mother of five who lived independently until she was 98 years of age said she was “absolutely delighted” to get the vaccine.
“I thank God every day that I’m still here,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2019, she said the secret to her long life was “prayer, prayer, and going to mass every day”.
Oaklodge management said that to date there have been no cases of Covid-19 detected among residents, due to the centre’s strict compliance with the HSE’s Nursing Home Infection Control Measures for Covid-19 and rigorous testing of staff and visitors.
The nursing home continuously innovated over the past year to enhance the safety and quality of life and care for their residents, being the first in the country to pilot innovative remote temperature checking software that can detect early Covid-19 warning symptoms in staff.
Owner of Oaklodge Nursing Home, Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh, said: “Covid-19 has presented unparalleled challenges for nursing homes throughout the country for the last 12 months and, at Oaklodge, we worked to consistently protect our residents and staff while simultaneously maintaining quality of life and care throughout this pandemic.
We’re delighted to have now received and administered the second dose of the vaccine to both our residents and staff and are pleased that the Government prioritised vulnerable people such as those living and working in care homes with the roll out of this essential vaccination programme.
“Here at Oaklodge, despite having received both doses of the vaccine, we will continue following all HIQA and HPSC measures around Covid-19 and infection control because it is too early for any of us, least of all those living and working with the vulnerable, to let our guards down,” he said.