BREAKING A&E staff nurse first to be vaccinated for Covid-19 at Portlaoise hospital marks historic day in Laois

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

vaccine coronavirus covid-19

Aidel Aurel Casabar, staff nurse ED, is the first person in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise to be vaccinated . She was vaccinated by Mary Gilligan, Clinical Placement Co-ordinator.

A staff nurse at Portlaoise's busy Emergency Department (ED/A&E) is the first person to be vaccinated for Covid-19 in Laois.

Aidel Aurel Casabar received the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise on Thursday, January 7. She was vaccinated by her colleague Mary Gilligan, Clinical Placement Co-ordinator. 

Staff vaccinations started the same day when the first batch of 200 doses arrived at the Laois hospital. Pans are in place to deliver the first dose of the vaccine to all staff. The HSE says 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 is General Manager, Midland Regional Hospital which is busy with Covid-19 patients.

“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,” he said.

Ms. Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing, appealed for the public's support.

“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,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

The Management Team at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise at the launch of the Covid-19 vaccination programme at the Hospital. Dr John Connaughton, Clinical Director, Ms Sandra Mc Carthy, Director of Nursing, Kathleen Ward, Operations Manager, Michael Knowles, General Manager, Fiona Moore, ADON Nurse Practice Development Department, Mary Gilligan, Clinical Placement Co-ordinator, Caitriona Gowing, Chief II Pharmacist and Aidel Aurel Casabar, Staff Nurse A&E. MORE BELOW TWEETS

Portlaoise is part of the Dublin Midland Hospital Group which includes hospitals in Tullamore, Naas, and in Dublin - Tallaght, St James's, the Coombe and St Lukes. 

Mr. Trevor O’Callaghan CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group spoke of the importance of the vaccination programme to hospitals.

“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”.

The Chief Executive of the HSE Paul Reid said on Thursday that, so far, more than 15,000 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The HSE says that 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," said a statement issued by the DMHG.

The HSE says everyone can find factual, up-to-date information, based on scientific evidence on:

www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine

www.gov.ie/covid19vaccine

www.hpra.ie

www.who.int