Aidel Aurel Casabar, Staff Nurse at the A&E in Portlaoise Hospital in Laois is the first person to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine against COVID-19 in the hospital.
She was vaccinated by her colleague Mary Gilligan who is the Clinical Placement Co-ordinator.
Staff vaccinations started today at the Hospital with plans to deliver the 1st dose of the vaccine to all staff.
A peer vaccination team of up 20 nurses will vaccinate staff Monday to Saturday ensuring that all personnel are protected in a planned and timely way.
Mr. Michael Knowles, General Manager, Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise said: “Covid-19 has been extremely challenging for our staff and continued service delivery.
“The beginning of our vaccination programme is very encouraging and marks a dawning of a new year for us all.
“Staff are being offered the Pfizer BioNTech Covid19 vaccine and we would hope to be in a position to vaccinate all staff in the coming weeks, dependent on the vaccine availability.
“We would ask our staff and community to work with us to flatten the current surge in Covid cases. It is really within our hands. Please stay at home and protect yourself and others.”
Ms. Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing: “We truly find hope today as we begin this vaccination campaign.
“Staff have worked so hard to care for their patients throughout this pandemic and are very tired. Covid-19 has been unrelenting but the end is in sight. We need everyone to play their part, stay at home and stay safe.”
Mr. Trevor O’Callaghan, CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said today: “The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group is very pleased to see the continued roll out of this vaccine in our Hospitals following the first vaccine in St James Hospital.
“We have been extensively planning with Hospitals and their vaccination teams to coordinate the supply of the available vaccine and ensure all frontline staff within the Hospital Group can be vaccinated in a timely way.
“Earlier this week, the vaccination programme was successfully launched in Tallaght University Hospital, the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital and Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.
“Today the vaccine programme will launch in Naas General Hospital the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise and St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network.
“The Group is also working with Community Health Organisation partners to include prioritised community health frontline workers as part of the vaccination roll out.”
Ms. Eileen Whelan, Chief Director of Nursing at Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said: “Vaccinations work, and vaccination is key to ensuring patient and staff safety during the Covid 19 pandemic.
“Our vaccination teams have a wealth of experience across all our Hospitals to commence the roll out of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
“We would like to acknowledge all the work that has been undertaken so far and we will continue to build on our capacity to fully complete this programme ensuring our staff are fully protected.”
Worldwide, vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives each year – and protect many more from crippling and lifelong illnesses.
Only COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised by the European Medicines Agency, having met stringent safety and effectiveness standards, will be used in Ireland.
All COVID-19 vaccines will be carefully monitored over time and updated safety data and information will be published and shared by the HSE, on our website and in our printed information materials.