Belfast centenarian among care home residents to receive Covid jab

Ethel Sinclair was inoculated at Bradley Manor on Wednesday.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

A 100-year-old woman was among residents at a Belfast care home to receive the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday.

Ethel Sinclair gave the thumbs up after receiving the injection at Bradley Manor, a care home in the north of the city.

Nurses – who themselves received the Pfizer/BioNtech jab on Tuesday – were at the facility where residents with dementia are cared for, inoculating staff and residents.

Almost 70 of the 80 members of staff received the vaccine, and work was under way to deliver it to the 79 residents.

The second dose of the vaccination will be delivered within the next few weeks.

Mandy Mitchell, operations director with Healthcare Ireland – which runs the home – said staff and residents were excited to get their first dose of the vaccine.

A staff member at the home receives her first dose of the vaccine
Staff and residents were said to be excited about getting their first dose of the vaccine (Liam McBurney/PA)

She urged others to take up the vaccine when they were offered it, emphasising it was “not to be feared”.

“It is for the benefit of our residents and the staff,” she told the PA news agency.

“The residents are in the process of getting theirs too, they are happy to hope for a bit of normality in the future and to have their visitors back in.

“Ethel was great, she welcomed it and couldn’t wait to have it done.”

Ms Mitchell said some of the care homes in the group had virtual tea parties on Tuesday to celebrate as news emerged of the first vaccinations being administered.

The cool box containing the Covid-19 vaccine
The cool box containing the Covid-19 vaccine (Liam McBurney/PA)

“They are so excited to have some light at the end of the tunnel,” she added.

Bradley Manor is also set to take part in a rapid testing programme starting next week with the aim of allowing more visitors in to see residents.

Joanna Sloan, 28, a sister in charge of the team of vaccinators for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, was the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the jab on Tuesday.

Health minister Robin Swann has described the rollout as bringing “new hope” to care homes.

He said that in two days, 310 staff and residents at care homes had received the first dose of the vaccination.

Mr Swann paid tribute to the health service for the “amazing achievement” of starting to roll the vaccine out within a week of its approval.

“But this is the first batch of the first vaccine, so although the programme has started, it has still a long way to run before we see the real benefit that this vaccine can bring,” he said.

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