Relief and excitement as COVID vaccination begins in Kerry nursing homes

Jan 7, 2021 18:01 By radiokerrynews
Relief and excitement as COVID vaccination begins in Kerry nursing homes Relief and excitement as COVID vaccination begins in Kerry nursing homes
John Cremin, from Knocknagree, County Cork, a 95-year-old father and grandfather resident at Killarney Community Hospital, was the first community hospital resident to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Kerry on Thursday morning. He is pictured with Director of Nursing M‡ire Flynn who was the first staff member at Killarney Community Hospital to be vaccinated. ÒIÕm very glad to be getting my vaccine today, itÕs not something that happens every week" he said. Photo: Don MacMonagle Further info: [email protected] John Cremin, a 95-year-old father and grandfather resident at Killarney Community Hospital, has become the first resident of a residential facility in Kerry to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He got the vaccine today at Killarney Community Hospital alongside other residents and healthcare workers from the residential unit. John is originally from Knocknagree in Co Cork. The father of four has six grandchildren and has been a resident at Killarney Community Hospital since 2013. He says he is looking forward to a time when he can have visitors again. ÒWe havenÕt been able to have visitors for a while now. IÕm not a bit worried about getting the vaccine, itÕs good that itÕs here. IÕm very glad to be getting my vaccine today, itÕs not something that happens every week.Ó Director of Nursing M‡ire Flynn was the first staff member at Killarney Community Hospital to be vaccinated. ÒI am delighted that we are receiving the vaccine, and so happy for our residents and our staff. We are so grateful to everyone who has made this happen, and so happy to be a part of this. Our residents are very excited, and are thrilled to be getting something that gives us all new hope for 2021. The important thing about these vaccinations is that they will help us to keep our residents safe.Ó Elaine Sheehan is assistant director of nursing at Killarney Community Hospital, and part of the team of vaccinators delivering the first vaccines today. She said sheÕs delighted to be part of the team rolling out the vaccine and keeping residents safe. ÒWeÕve a busy few days ahead but itÕll all be worth it. It is just great to be at this point where we can begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel. People realised that we canÕt continue to live like this. For staff, this is not just about ourselves, this is about protecting our residents.Ó Elaine added that staff and residents received literature about the vaccine over the last few days. ÒAnyone with any questions has been able to talk to myself and the other peer vaccinators. WeÕre constantly communicating with people, supporting and reassuring them.Ó Vaccinations will continue at Killarney Community Hospital today, tomorrow and into Saturday as vaccinators work to offer the vaccine to approximately 200 staff and more than 90 residents. Everyone vaccinated today was given a HSE vaccine information leaflet, along with more detailed manufacturerÕs patient information leaflet, before getting the vaccine. Afterwards, each person vaccinated was given a vaccine record card, showing the name and batch of the vaccine they have received. They will each receive a second dose, to be fully protected, in three weeks. This marks the beginning of Cork Kerry Community HealthcareÕs vaccination campaign in residential facilities in Cork and Kerry. In accordance with the priority list for vaccination set out by the country, residents aged over 65 in long-term care are among the first to receive the vaccine. The comprehensive vaccination programme across Cork and Kerry will see Cork Kerry Community Healthcare teams vaccinate residents and staff at more than 125 locations. Our teams will travel to private nursing homes and voluntary residential facilities, as well as co-ordinating the vaccination of residents and staff at the residential facilities we run across Cork and Kerry. Our vaccinator teams will be giving vaccines at each of those locations on two occasions, three weeks apart. Throughout next week (ie January 11th onwards), we expect to have teams travelling to more than 30 public and private facilities in Cork and Kerry (22 in Cork and 11 in Kerry). We expect to vaccinate more than 3,500 staff and residents next week alone, and this programme will accelerate in the following weeks. While a provisional schedule of vaccination dates is in place, this schedule is subject to constant change. However, we can confirm that we aim to have made both doses of the vaccination available to all the staff and residents of such facilities by the end of February. WeÕd like to pay tribute to the staff involved in the vaccination programme who have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks in order to be prepared for this roll-out. This is a tremendous undertaking and weÕd like to thank all staff involved in getting vaccine delivered quickly and safely. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still with us and while welcome, the vaccination roll-out is only one part of our response. ItÕs still extremely important that we all remain vigilant and keep up all protective actions. Everyone can find factual, up-to-date information, based on scientific evidence on: ENDS Notes for Editors: About the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme: á The COVID-19 vaccine offers people protection from COVID-19, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine should also protect people from the serious complications of COVID-19. Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus á The first delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine was received by the HSE on December 26th, and the vaccination programme began on December 30th. Based on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, NIAC, our first limited stock were given to people in hospital settings, where medical teams can be on call on site. á From January 4th, the programme is being rolled out to long term residential care facilities for older people. This will be aligned with further and ongoing deliveries of the vaccine, over a 6 week rolling programme throughout all 582 nursing homes, public and private, all over the country. Our vaccinator teams will be giving vaccines at each of those locations, on two separate occasions, 3 weeks apart. á In the later phases of the programme that will focus on the next priority groups, people may be vaccinated through mass vaccination clinics, GP surgeries and community pharmacies. This will be done by qualified and trained healthcare workers, including hospital doctors, community medical officers, nurses, GPs and pharmacists. More information will be given about the later phases when they have been agreed and implemented. á Ireland has approximately 580 nursing homes, 80% of which are privately owned, and the vaccination of their residents is a highly complex process requiring the cooperation of all stakeholders. á Cork Kerry Community Healthcare is working with local nursing home providers to finalise their schedules. This requires each provider to assure themselves that they can register each staff member and resident who wishes to take the vaccine and collect the required 55 individual pieces of information on each person who wishes to be vaccinated several days before the vaccination team is due to arrive. á Each provider must also ensure that each staff member and each resident (and their families where appropriate) understand and give informed consent to the vaccine. á The target completion date for all 580 Public, Private and Voluntary Nursing Homes is February 28th next, bearing in mind that COVID outbreaks may interrupt vaccination. á The HSE has commenced an information programme all about the vaccine, starting with printed and online information for the first priority groups being offered the vaccine, along with
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Staff and residents of Killarney Community Hospital were relieved and excited to be the first residential facility in Kerry to receive COVID-19 vaccince.

That’s according to Director of Nursing there, Máire Flynn, who was the first member of staff to be vaccinated.


95-year-old John Cremin from Knocknagree in Cork was the first resident to receive the vaccine.

It’s expected that more than 3,500 residents and staff at 30 facilities in Kerry and Cork will receive a first dose of the vaccine by the end of next week and the programme will accelerate in the following weeks.

Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospital Máire Flynn said it’s a great day.



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