After months of waiting for a silver bullet, the island’s first Covid vaccine jab has been administered to Sandie Hannay, a senior residential support officer in the Learning Disability service.
While having her jab, Sandie chatted to reporters and photographers from the media who had been invited to witness Manx V-Day.
Sandie explained she was keen to be vaccinated so that she stays healthy to continue providing care to vulnerable people and hopes that other staff and residents will take up the offer of being vaccinated when invited. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which Sandie was given has been stored in deep freeze since its delivery to the island just before Christmas. A tray was defrosted and transported to Ward 20 at Noble’s where the history making jab was given.
Speaking to the media, she said: ‘It’s very important [to get the jab], I work with adults with learning disabilities and to protect them and to protect the community, I think everybody should be stepping up and getting the vaccine.’
Asked whether she was happy to received the Pfizer vaccine over the Oxford one, Sandie said: ‘I’m happy about any vaccine, anything that is going to protect vulnerable people in our community, and staff and adults with learning disabilities, then yes definitely. I’d tell people to get it, if it’s going to protect then it’s better than the alternative.’
At Noble’s, a team of healthcare professionals trained to prepare and give the vaccine are being supported by colleagues who ensure the comfort and safety of those getting the jab.
Clinical admin staff are on hand to welcome patients, provide information about the vaccine and obtain their informed consent, in line with a formal process set out by Public Health England and the manufacturer.
Health Minister Ashy was also on hand to witness Sandie receiving the jab and again insisted waiting until the new year was the right decision for the roll out.
He said: ‘Vaccines are the key to returning to a more normal way of life – here, in the UK and across the world. In light of the additional transmission threat posed by the new variant of the virus, I urge everyone, when they are invited to register, to do so. ‘Vaccination prevents people becoming seriously ill with Covid and so will reduce demand for acute health services, while at the same time helping to protect the most vulnerable members of society, including those with serious illnesses who cannot currently receive the vaccine.’
The vaccination programme will continue to expand in the next few weeks to health professionals, care home residents and the over-80s.
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