100-year-old Patrick first to receive COVID vaccine at Greenfield Residential Home

GREENFIELD Residential Home's oldest resident has become the first in the Western Trust facility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Centenarian Patrick McKeever celebrated his 100th birthday with a special party at the Melmount Road facility back in October.

He was vaccinated on Monday at the home as the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was dispensed across Northern Ireland, with priority given to care home residents and health and care staff.

Known as 'phase one', the vaccination programme saw local care homes and beyond visited by a mobile vaccination teams who administered the vaccines in a safe and effective manner.

The teams will return 21 days later to administer the second dose of the vaccine, which is thought to offer up to 95 per cent protection against COVID-19 virus.

In tandem with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in care homes, healthcare staff will begin to be offered the vaccine in the comings weeks/months as the supply of vaccine is made available.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust said they will target staff in line with JCVI prioritisation, which is on the basis of those staff that are working with patients in the highest risk group.

Staff will be invited to book their vaccine through an online booking system.

Ann McConnell, director of Human Resources at the Western Trust she was "delighted" with the roll out of the vaccine.

"We are delighted to be offering a COVID-19 vaccine to care home residents and staff in the Western Trust area.

"This has been an unprecedented logistical exercise for the Trust and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who are supporting this effort and will continue to for quite some time.

"The exact timing of all plans will be subject to vaccine availability and we will communicate this to all groups as allocated."

Ann added: "This vaccine gives us hope that we are coming towards the end of this pandemic, however we should not become complacent in our approach.

"We need everyone to continue to play a part in managing the crisis.

"People have been heroic in their efforts to keep patients safe, to attend to their work and to keep their colleagues safe.

"We need you to continue with this work until the rollout of this vaccine is complete.

"Please remain vigilant. Wear a face covering, adhere to social distancing and follow all the public health advice especially during the holiday period and then we can look forward to a better and safer 2021 for all of us."

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