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Watch: Waterford great-grandmother (93) says it's a 'great feeling' as she gets Covid jab from her GP

Some 13,500 people over the age of 85 are due to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the week.

Updated Feb 16th 2021, 2:48 PM

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

WATERFORD GREAT-GRANDMOTHER Margaret Power has become one of the first people over the age of 85 in Ireland to receive the Covid jab in the community.

The 93-year-old received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from her local GP shortly before 9am this morning at the Waterford Primary Care Centre.

The rollout of the national vaccination programme for the over-85s got underway at some GP practices this morning after stocks of vaccine arrived yesterday.

Power told the PA news agency: “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.”

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

The pensioner said she is looking forward to spending more time with her family, especially her great-grandchildren, once she’s fully vaccinated.

“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.”

Her daughter Angela Power said the entire family were calling after her mother had received the jab to see how it went.

“We’re delighted for her,” she said. “It’s great to have it. She’s in good health but being locked in for the year she’s doing very little now. She gets up in the day and she’s sitting watching telly for the afternoon with nowhere to go.

“She loved her old ramble around the shops and she hasn’t been to a shop in over a year.”

Power said that, as her mother’s primary carer, she’s still anxious that her mother won’t be fully protected until she herself receives the jab.

She believes the Government should be treating home carers the same as if they were nursing home staff on the vaccine priority list.

But she is hopeful now that the vaccines are being given to people in the community.

She said: “It’s a sign of hope and a sign that it’s going to hopefully get back to whatever our normality will be but with a little less fear about putting your nose outside the door.”

James Welsh, 88, also received the Covid-19 jab from the Keogh Practice’s dedicated vaccine centre in Waterford this morning.

coronavirus-tue-feb-16-2021 James Welsh, aged 88, after receiving an injection of the Pfizer vaccine Source: Niall Carson/PA Images

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.

97-year-old Josie Power also made her way to the centre to receive the jab this morning accompanied by her daughter Joan.

The local woman, who lives on her own, said she was happy to get the vaccine.

“It didn’t bother me,” she said.

“I was delighted to get it done. It feels okay.”

Dr Niall Macnamara was one of seven GPs from the Keogh Practice administrating the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday to about 300 patients between the ages of 85 and 104.

The multi-location practice, which has about 2,700 patients over the age of 70, has set up a dedicated Covid-19 clinic for the administration of the vaccines at the HSE’s Waterford primary care centre.

Dr Macnamara said: “It’s an incredibly exciting day. Our staff are absolutely buzzing.

“It was one of those nights where I didn’t sleep particularly well. I woke at three in the morning – I was so excited to get in.

“We’ve lived over the last year in really difficult times but I don’t think anyone has experienced the difficulties that this particularly age group has and the restrictions on their liberties and the impact it’s had on their mental health and physical well-being.”

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“It’s not often you have a day like this in general practice,” he added.

“Often you have a lot of sad stories coming in. There’s a lot of mental health difficulties, a lot of trauma, a lot of people who are in pain and suffering but this is one of those days that everyone is coming in and they’re so excited to be here.

“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be able to do this.”

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.

The jabs will be administered at local GP practices and at 37 vaccination centres over the next three weeks.

All those over 70 are scheduled to have received their first dose by mid-April and their second dose by mid-May.

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Press Association

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