Avid horse racing fan, Biddy Connolly, aged 101, beamed as she was first past the post in her nursing home to be vaccinated against Covid-19 today.
The centenarian from Meanus, Co Limerick, said she was “delighted” to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine alongside healthcare staff at the HSE-run St Ita’s Community Nursing Unit, Newcastle West.
Pulling up her sleeve to receive the jab, Biddy, a firm follower of horse owner and GAA sponsor JP McManus, regaled HSE staff of her “love of hurling” and how she “can’t wait to see Limerick back on the pitch to win another All Ireland Hurling title” in 2021.
A second dose is to be administered in three weeks time.
“We’ve been waiting patiently all week for the vaccine to arrive, and we were thrilled early this morning to see the HSE vaccination team arrive on site with the Covid-19 vaccine, there is a great sense of excitement among our residents and staff who by tomorrow will all have received their first Covid vaccinations — it is a great way to start 2021,” offered Noreen Conway, director of nursing, at St Ita’s.
Mary O’Brien, Head of Service, Older Persons, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare said she was thrilled with the roll-out of the Covid vaccine across Community Nursing Units in the region.
“The remaining units will receive the first dose of the vaccine in the next ten days, all residents and staff welcome the vaccine, and uptake remains really high in our residential settings,” added Ms O’Brien.
St Ita’s managed to effectively wipe out an outbreak of Covid-19 of an entire ward by January 4th.
The outbreak was declared in the last week of November, when 25 patients on a 27-bed ward tested positive for the virus, but all had recovered.