Waterford great-grandmother (93) among first to receive Covid vaccine in the community

ireland
Waterford Great-Grandmother (93) Among First To Receive Covid Vaccine In The Community Waterford Great-Grandmother (93) Among First To Receive Covid Vaccine In The Community
Margaret Power (93) receives an injection of the Pfizer vaccine from Dr Sheenagh Macnamara at Waterford Primary Care Centre. Picture: PA
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Waterford great-grandmother Margaret Power has become one of the first people over the age of 85 in Ireland to receive the Covid vaccine in the community.

The 93-year-old said: “So far so good. I don’t feel any effects yet. It’s grand to have it over me.

“I was thinking about it and I couldn’t sleep thinking about what I was going to have. I didn’t know I was going to be the first to get it here in the age group.”

Mrs Power received the jab from her local GP at the Keogh Practice’s dedicated Covid-19 vaccination centre in Waterford on Tuesday morning.

James Welsh (88) after receiving an injection of the Pfizer vaccine at Waterford Primary Care Centre. Picture: PA

“It’s a great feeling,” she said. “I’ll have to have a second one, and then I’ll feel protected.”

Mrs Power said she is looking forward to spending more time with her family once she is fully vaccinated.

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“They come and look in the window and wave at me, throwing kisses,” she said. “I’m in contact with them all the time. I get to see them on the tablets as well.”

James Welsh, 88, also received the Covid-19 jab from the same centre on Tuesday morning.

The pensioner said he was “very happy” to get the vaccine as he had been stuck in the house since lockdown.

“I walk around the garden, that’s all you could do,” he said.

Rollout underway

The rollout of the national vaccination programme for the over-85s got underway at some GP practices on Tuesday morning.

People over the age of 85 living in the community are the third group prioritised for the vaccine under the HSE's rollout plan, after people over the age of 65 in long-term residential facilities and healthcare workers.

Stocks of vaccine were delivered to some GP practices on Monday but the first doses were being administered from Tuesday onwards.

Some 13,500 people over the age of 85 are due to receive their first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine by the end of the week.

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The jabs will be administered at local GP practices and at 37 vaccination centres over the coming three weeks. All those over 70 are scheduled to have received their first dose by mid-April and their second dose by mid-May.

Last week, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) confirmed they would be sticking to their recommendation that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used for people over 65 due to a lack of data regarding its efficacy in older people.

It came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended the AstraZeneca jab for use in all adults over 18.

However, NIAC said the WHO report did not provide data that was substantially different to the early report on the jab by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), on which NIAC's original decision was based.

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