The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare staff at Portiuncula University Hospital has begun, with 500 due to receive their first dose by week’s end.
Louise Ann McGrath, Clinical Nurse Manager 2, St John’s Ward was the first staff member in the hospital to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday.
Louise received the vaccine from her nursing colleague, Mary Barrett, and over the coming weeks the programme will be expanded the hospital and community services
Louise said that she was delighted to receive the vaccine to protect against COVID-19, and the serious health problems that come with it.
She has worked at Portiuncula for more than 20 years, and is currently a nurse manager at a ward which has been treating COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic last year.
“We have seen the devastating effect of this infection on our patients and their families and 2020 was a really difficult year for everyone working in the health services.”
“As we begin a new year, it is really positive to see the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” Louise said.
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine was the first to be approved for use in the European Union, followed by the Moderna vaccine just this week.
Under the government’s vaccination programme, the first people to receive protection against COVID-19 are frontline healthcare workers and people over the age of 65 living in long term facilities.
James Keane Hospital Manager at Portiuncula University Hospital, said that their plan is to first vaccinate staff on on the COVID-19 wards, the Emergency Department and ICU, before moving out across the entire hospital.
“After a really difficult year we are delighted that this vital vaccination programme has begun here in Portiuncula University Hospital”
Marita Fogarty, Director of Nursing at PUH and the person in charge of the hospital’s vaccination campaign, said that 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, including healthcare staff.
Information will be provided to every person
“While the vaccine is not mandatory, it is recommended that everyone gets the vaccine when it is offered to them.”
“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should protect from the serious complications of COVID-19 and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.”