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First batch of workers at Ennis Hospital receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

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Described as “shining lights in the West,” a number of frontline workers at Ennis Hospital have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Frontline workers at Ennis Hospital welcomed the arrival of the vaccine as they experience a challenge on a scale never previously witnessed at the hospital.

David Crowe who is a porter at the hospital became the first Clare staff member to be vaccinated on Wednesday morning, staff nurse Noreen Kelly Nagle administered the vaccine. Dr Mary Kennedy of the Medical Assessment Unit was the first healthcare worker at the hospital to receive her vaccine, she got the jab off staff nurse, Caroline Mulligan.

Staff Nurse Caroline Mulligan gives the first Covid-19 vaccine in Ennis Hospital to Dr Mary Kennedy, Medical Assessment Unit, this Wednesday.

“This is a day we have all been waiting for in Ennis Hospital and the arrival of these vaccines gives us all hope that an end is in sight,” Dr Kennedy stated.

The first batch of vaccines were delivered to Ennis Hospital this Wednesday morning, and it is planned initially to administer 50 doses per day to healthcare staff. For those who received vaccinations on Wednesday, a second vaccination is required after a three-week period.

This is part of a regional vaccination programme that will see the vaccine administered to all staff in UL Hospitals Group, the HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare Organisation and other healthcare settings. Vaccination at the region’s main acute hospital, University Hospital Limerick (UHL), got under way on Monday, and at University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL) on Tuesday.

Ennis Hospital staff nurse Noreen Kelly Nagle administers the Covid-19 vaccine to porter David Crowe as he becomes the first Clare staff member to be vaccinated

Up to Tuesday evening, 490 staff in total had been vaccinated under the programme. By the end of the week, with plans at an advanced stage to start vaccination at Croom, Nenagh and St John’s Hospital, it is envisaged that at least 1,500 healthcare workers will have received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Margaret Gleeson, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, UL Hospitals Group, and chairperson of the Group’s COVID-19 Vaccination Steering Group, said: “We are delighted that vaccination has now begun at Ennis Hospital, and pleased with our progress so far as part of the initial phase of the largest vaccination programme ever undertaken in this country. This is one of a number of vaccines that we expect to be available to hospital staff and the wider population over the coming weeks and months; and that they have been developed and approved so soon after the emergence of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 is a historic achievement for all concerned. These vaccines are safe, effective and will offer real protection against a disease that has caused so much illness and death in Ireland and around the world”.

Operational Director of Nursing at Ennis Hospital, Patricia O’Gorman described the staff as “shining lights in the West” as she paid tribute to the continued sacrifices made by frontline workers in the county.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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