Staff at University Hospital Galway were among the first people in the country to receive the Covid-19 vaccine earlier today.
Lorna Quinn was the first staff member in the hospital and the Saolta Group to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, as vaccinations began today in the Republic.
Lorna, who is Assistant Director of Nursing and one of the peer vaccinators who will deliver the vaccine to staff based at the hospital, received the vaccine from her UHG nursing colleague Michelle McNamara Nee.
Between today and the end of this week, over 500 staff will be vaccinated at UHG and the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination will continue over the coming weeks.
“I am delighted to get this vaccine today,” said Lorna Quinn.
“I am one of the assigned peer vaccinators who will deliver the vaccine to staff across the hospital and I am really looking forward to being part of this historic vaccination campaign.
“Information will be provided to each person who receives the vaccine explaining the process to them, including the requirement to receive a second dose of this vaccine in 3 weeks”.
Chris Kane, Hospital Manager at Galway University Hospitals, added that everyone in University Hospital Galway is delighted to see the commencement of this vaccination programme on site today.
“The COVID-19 vaccine offers us protection from COVID-19 and from the serious complications it can cause,” she said.
“Our plan is provide the vaccine in the first instance to those staff directly providing care to confirmed and suspect COVID-19 cases including the Shannon and Corrib inpatient wards, the Emergency Department and Acute Medical and Surgical Assessment Units and the ICU in the hospital.
“Over the course of next week and beyond, this will be extended to all staff in the hospital.”
Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Group which has overall responsibility for the acute hospitals and the west and north west, said that today is a really important day and they are delighted that they have commenced the roll-out of this critical vaccination programme.
“The vaccines will be delivered in stages and we will be extending the vaccination programme across each of the hospitals in the Saolta Group as the vaccine supply becomes available,” said Tony Canavan.
“This is a huge vaccination programme and our priority it to provide it to our staff as quickly as possible in the safest possible manner”.