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“I really feel like there is a bit of hope there now,” said Annie Lynch (79) after receiving first COVID-19 vaccine in Republic of Ireland

DUBLIN: Annie Lynch is the first person to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Republic of Ireland. The 79-year-old grandmother from Dublin received her first injection in St James’ Hospital today.

Vaccinations were also given to health workers at the hospital. St. James’ became the first hospital in the country to distribute the vaccine. The first COVID-19 vaccine in the country was administered by a staff nurse here.

Born in Christchurch, Annie grew up in Liberties. She currently lives in Drimnagh in Dublin. Her husband, John, passed away in September, four weeks before she was admitted to hospital. Ms. Lynch has three children and 10 grandchildren. She is a resident of the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing at St. James’s. Annie said she was very proud 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,” Ms. Lynch said.

Lynch was given the first COVID-19 vaccine by Deborah Cross, Clinical Nurse Manager. HSE Chief Clinical Office Dr Colm Henry shared pictures of the moment on Twitter.

Bernie Waterhouse, a Clinical Nurse Manager working in a Covid-19 ward in St James’ Hospital, was the first health worker to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland.

These vaccines were given from the first delivery of 10,000 doses received by the HSE on Stephens Day. The vaccine was given at four hospitals: St James’s Hospital and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Cork University Hospital, and University Hospital Galway. CEO of St James’ Hospital Mary Day said they were very proud to be the first hospital to receive the vaccine.

“New chapter in our fight” – Health Minister

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said all four hospitals were initially given 500 doses of the vaccine each. The Minister of Health said that the vaccination given to Annie Lynch marks the latest chapter in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

“When she leaves hospital and she goes back home without this vaccine she would be in a situation where she wouldn’t be able to see people, particularly with cases on the rise as they are, so it’s a wonderful moment of hope in our fight,” Mr. Donnelly said. He thanked the health workers for their hard work and dedication without even considering their own safety.

“Proud day for the profession” – INMO

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said it is “a proud day for the profession”. “Nurses have been at the front of the COVID fight since the virus first arrived. We are now taking these important steps against this horrible virus,” said Karen McGowan, INMO President and Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Those over 70 will receive vaccine after nursing home residents

Professor Brian McCraith, Chair of the COVID-19 vaccination taskforce, said the vaccines would begin being delivered to nursing homes next week. He hopes that all nursing home staff will be vaccinated by mid-February.

Prof. McCraith said after nursing home residents, those aged over 70 are next in line to receive the vaccine. GPs and pharmacists will play an important role in this regard.

There are currently 40,000 vaccines in the country. Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech are needed and the task force wants to make sure every person who receives the vaccine will be able to get a second dose. He added that the AstraZeneca vaccine would rewrite history if approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

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