Cavan woman (102) believed to be oldest recipient of Covid-19 vaccine in State

Una McBarron vaccinated at nursing home, says it is a privilege to receive vaccine

Una McBarron receiving the Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at her care home in Cavan

Una McBarron receiving the Pfizer BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at her care home in Cavan

 

A 102-year-old resident of a Cavan nursing home is believed to be the oldest person in Ireland to have received the Covid-19 vaccine to date.

Una McBarron, who comes from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, was administered with the Pfizer BioNTech version of the vaccine at the Breffni Care Centre in her home town on Thursday.

The Cavan native was the first nursing-home resident in the HSE’s community healthcare organisation area covering Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo to receive the vaccine.

Staff at the nursing home broke into a round of applause as McBarron had the vaccine administered by needle into her left arm.

Afterwards, the centenarian said she was happy to receive the vaccine, adding: “It is a privilege to have it”.

McBarron also praised and thanked all the staff at the Breffni Care Centre for looking after her and other residents and “keeping us safe from this virus”.

Like all people given the vaccine, McBarron was provided with an information leaflet in advance and will be given the second dose in three weeks to ensure full protection from the virus.

The assistant director of nursing at the Breffni Care Centre, Loida Aragon, said it was a great day for McBarron and her family and all the residents and staff at the nursing home as they had been living in fear since March 1st last year and preparing for all the worst-case scenarios as a result of Covid-19.

“They have been separated from their loved ones for almost a year and they have paid a heavy price,” said Ms Aragon.

She expressed pride that the fantastic effort by staff at the Breffni Care Centre meant they had managed to keep the nursing home free from Covid-19 to date.

“Now as we vaccinate today, we start to build the wall of protection for our residents and staff and we look forward to 2021,” Ms Aragon added.

HSE spokesperson John Hayes described the start of vaccinations in the north west and border region as “a day of hope for a better future”.

Mr Hayes also thanked all healthcare staff who had been working tirelessly on the frontline over the past year in order to protect the community from Covid-19.

“While today offers us hope, it is important that we continue to adhere with the public health guidelines to keep safe while the vaccine is being rolled out over the coming weeks and months,” said Mr Hayes.

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