staff nurse Caroline Mulligan giving the first COVID-19 vaccine in Ennis Hospital to Dr Mary Kennedy, Medical Assessment Unit
The Covid-19 vaccination programme for Mid-West healthcare workers was rolled out this Wednesday.
The arrival of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Ennis was has been welcomed by frontline healthcare workers who have been challenged as never before throughout the ongoing pandemic.
The first healthcare worker at the hospital to be vaccinated was Dr Mary Kennedy of the Medical Assessment Unit, who received her vaccine from Staff Nurse Caroline Mulligan.
It is planned initially to administer 50 doses per day to healthcare staff. All those who received vaccinations yesterday, will require a second vaccination 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.
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.
The Hospitals Group has a network of peer vaccinators who have been trained to administer the vaccines to staff, initially to those directly involved in patient care, including nursing, medical, healthcare assistants, allied health professionals and support staff.
Each person who gets the COVID-19 vaccine will receive a HSE vaccine information leaflet, along with more detailed manufacturer’s patient information leaflet, before getting the vaccine. Afterwards, a vaccine record card is given, showing the name and batch of the vaccine they have received.
Margaret Gleeson, Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, UL Hospitals Group, and chairperson of the Group’s Covid-19 Vaccination Steering Group, said: “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. 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.”