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79-year-old grandmother first in Ireland to receive coronavirus vaccine

Annie Lynch received the Pfizer jab at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.


Annie Lynch is the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Ireland (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

Annie Lynch is the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Ireland (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

Annie Lynch is the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Ireland (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

A 79-year-old grandmother from Dublin has become the first person in the Republic to receive a coronavirus vaccination.

Annie Lynch received the vaccine at St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

It was the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 jab to be administered at four hospitals across the country: St James’s and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway.

Mrs Lynch said: “I feel very privileged to be the first person in Ireland to receive the vaccine.

“Like everyone else I have been waiting for the vaccine and I really feel like there is a bit of hope there now. It’s brilliant that it’s here. Everything was explained very clearly to me beforehand.”

Mrs Lynch, who lives in Drimnagh and was born in Christchurch, grew up in The Liberties.

Her husband John died in September. She has three children and 10 grandchildren.

She is a resident at the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing at St James’s.

Bernie Waterhouse, a clinical nurse manager on a Covid-19 ward at St James’s, was the first healthcare worker in Ireland to get the vaccine.

She said: “I wanted to get the vaccine to protect myself, and the people I work with and care for every day, from Covid-19.”


Bernie Waterhouse receiving the coronavirus vaccine (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

Bernie Waterhouse receiving the coronavirus vaccine (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)


Bernie Waterhouse receiving the coronavirus vaccine (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

Around 10,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in Ireland on St Stephen’s Day.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first to be approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency.

Around 40,000 doses will arrive in Ireland every week throughout January and February.

It comes as Ireland recorded its highest ever daily number of cases with  1,546 confirmed in the past 24 hours.

There were nine further deaths related to Covid-19.

It brings the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in the country to 2,213.

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus is also rising sharply, with 411 patients, of which 34 are in ICU.


(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer, said: “We have reached a significant milestone in our collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland, with the launch of our national vaccination programme.

“To see the first recipients of the vaccine gives us hope for better times ahead, particularly for those of us who are the most vulnerable to the virus, including those over 70 and with underlying medical conditions.

“The vaccination programme will focus on the priority groups in line with the recent decisions of Government in the first instance.

“As the vaccination programme rolls out, particularly given the increasing spread of the disease and the concerning rise in the number of hospitalisations – up to 411 today – we each need to remember to remain vigilant to the ongoing risk of the spread of Covid-19 and follow the public health advice in our everyday lives.

Our healthcare workers have worked day and night to care for their patients throughout this pandemic.Stephen Donnelly

“Following the public health advice is our only means to suppress the spread of the virus in the community.

“You are protecting yourself and your family from this highly infectious virus every time you wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep a two-metre distance, reduce your social contacts and stay at home if you feel unwell.”

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said today’s first vaccine is a “ray of light” after what has been a trying year.

He added: “It is testament to the work of the medical and scientific communities that we now have safe and effective vaccines to help to protect us against the devastating effects of Covid-19.

“Our healthcare workers have worked day and night to care for their patients throughout this pandemic.

“While vaccines will help us in the fight against this pandemic, Covid-19 is still a threat to health and to our health services, and we must do everything we can to slow its spread.”

The rollout of the vaccine to nursing home residents and staff is expected to start next week.

It will be administered across a three-week period in a full sweep followed by a second three-week programme.

Paul Reid, HSE chief executive, said: “This vaccine has the power to protect people from Covid-19, and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this terrible virus.

“I am very proud to see the vaccinations commence today, safely, with thorough vaccinator training and patient-centred communications at its heart.

“As we know, the vaccines will be delivered in stages – we’re starting in acute hospitals initially, and will move into long-term care facilities from next week, but this is a great start to an historic process.”

Mary Day, chief executive at St James’s, said: “St James’s Hospital is very proud to be the first hospital to offer the vaccine to our patients and staff today.

“All of our colleagues, our patients and their families have endured a difficult year as a result of Covid.

“While we have more to do, the hope that today brings is really welcome, and I thank our vaccinators and all our staff whose hard work ensured we are up and running, protecting our team and our patients, from today.”

Online Editors