‘Everybody was so excited about getting the vaccine’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

RESIDENTS and staff of a Rathcoole nursing home, which had a coronavirus outbreak in April, received the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday (January 17) – and a spare vial of vaccine was then used to vaccinate six public health workers.

Back in April, 20 people in Lisheen Nursing Home tested positive for coronavirus, and the results were only received 15 days after the tests were carried out.

Covid vaccine nursing home 11 1

Eithne Nolan, aged 92, with Berni Howard after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid 19 Vaccine in Rathcoole on Sunday

Val Joy, director of nursing at Lisheen, told The Echo: “It was a significant outbreak, and back in April the testing process was different.

“We did mass testing and didn’t get our results for 15 days. But, thankfully, we didn’t have the outcome that other facilities have had, in terms of the level of deaths or the level of illness.”

The nursing home managed to control the spread of the virus, as the campus was designed with dementia in mind, “so it’s almost as though we can operate as seven smaller nursing homes,” according to Ms Joy.

Now, 160 swabs are taken from staff at the nursing home each week to test for coronavirus, and the results are usually received within 48 hours.

Covid vaccine nursing home 02 1

May McLaughlin, aged 102, from Crumlin, with Valerie Joy, director of nursing after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid 19 Vaccine Photos by Damien Eagers

The nursing home received a call on Wednesday evening (January 13) from the HSE, informing them that they would be supplied with vaccines, which were then administered to 255 residents and staff at Lisheen on Sunday.

One vial of vaccine was left after the Lisheen residents and staff received their vaccines, so Ms Joy contacted the HSE, who then sent six public healthcare workers to be vaccinated with the left-over vial.

9D3A1435 1

Staff members receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid 19 Vaccine from nurse, Elaine Foy at Lisheen Nursing Home in Rathcoole

“Everybody was so excited about getting the vaccine,” said Ms Joy. “Personally, I felt like a child on Christmas morning. We were all really emotional.

“It was a mammoth task to get everything in place by Sunday, but I have an amazing team who even came in on their day off to help.

“It was a historic, momentous day.”

Covid vaccine nursing home2 08 1

Ursula Buckley, aged 73, celebrates after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid 19 Vaccine from nurse, Elaine Foy at Lisheen Nursing Home in Rathcoole

She added: “Out of the 261 doses given, we’ve had no reactions.”

Reflecting on how she feels following the vaccines being administered, Ms Joy said: “I think we can all breathe a little bit easier now.

“Ultimately, we’re all a lot happier and reassured that the risk to our most vulnerable residents has been reduced.

“We hope it will get us one step closer to going back to normal.”

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Usage of recycling banks ‘increased substantially’
Next ‘I think it’s unfair for a dog to be kept in a kennel for 23 hours a day’
  • Bus with no passengers or driver ends up in bush in Square Shopping Centre
  • Isaac from Kilnamanagh was presented with a Garda hat from the Community Policing Unit in Tallaght
  • Ducks spotted skating in Tymon Park
  • Exchange Hall fire
  • Thanks for all of your support this year

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.