95-year-old Covid-survivor first nursing home resident vaccinated in Ireland

ireland
95-Year-Old Covid-Survivor First Nursing Home Resident Vaccinated In Ireland 95-Year-Old Covid-Survivor First Nursing Home Resident Vaccinated In Ireland
Maura Byrne
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By Cate McCurry, PA

A 95-year-old great-grandmother, who lost her husband to Covid-19, is the first nursing home resident to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Ireland.

Maura Bryne, who also survived Covid-19, received the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday in Hollybrook Lodge at St James’s Hospital’s residential care unit in Dublin.

The care home became the first in the country to receive the jab.

After receiving the vaccine, Mrs Bryne said: “I feel great at the moment.”

Encouraging others to get vaccinated, Mrs Byrne added she felt “very lucky” to receive it.

As a result of visiting restrictions in place at the nursing home, she has been unable to see her family but said she looks forward to speaking to them on video calls.

Maura Byrne has received the Pfizer vaccine (Anthony Edwards/PA)

She said: “I’m very, very happy. I’m really happy. I’m lucky, I have an iPad, so I have little chats.

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“When I go back up now I’ll say ‘look, I got the vaccine’.

“It’s lovely, they all have messages for you. I have 15 great-grandchildren. The great-grandchildren would be standing on their heads, they’re really funny.”

Mrs Byrne thanked her family and the nurses in Hollybrook Lodge for their support.

“The nurses here are very kind. It’s a home from home,” she added.

Funeral

Her husband Stephen died after contracting the virus last year.

Mrs Byrne was recovering from Covid-19 at the time and was unable to attend the funeral.

“I buried my husband and I couldn’t see him. I watched it on a phone,” she said.

“I wanted to touch my own (family). On my husband’s card he told me that I could ‘cry and want me back or smile and think of the happy days we had’.”

The great-grandmother said she will keep smiling and is hopeful over the roll-out of the vaccine.

Mary Day, CEO at St James’s Hospital said: “As Ireland’s largest acute academic teaching hospital and home to Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), a facility dedicated to advancing the conditions for successful ageing, it is particularly fitting that the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in a residential care setting took place today in a residential care unit.

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“We know that Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for older people, and vaccinating our older and vulnerable population and those who care for them is our priority.

“Thanks to all the residents and staff for their support in rolling out the vaccine.”

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