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Letterkenny University Hospital administers its first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign began in Letterkenny University Hospital today, Wednesday January 6th. Lorraine Guthrie, Clinical Nurse Manager 2 from Medical 5 was the first staff member in the hospital to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Lorraine received the vaccine from her nursing colleague Virginia Murray. The vaccine was the first to be administered in County Donegal and over the coming weeks the vaccination programme will be extended across the hospital and community services. Between today and the end of this week, over 500 staff will be vaccinated at Letterkenny University Hospital.

Commenting, Lorraine Guthrie said “I am delighted to get this vaccine today which will offer protection from COVID-19 and from the serious complications it can cause. I have worked in LUH for over 17 years and am currently working in Medical 5. We have seen the devastating effect of this infection on our patients and their families and 2020 was a really difficult year for everyone working in the health services. As we begin a new year, it is really positive to see the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.”

Seán Murphy, Hospital Manager at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) said, “Everyone in LUH is delighted to see the commencement of this vaccination programme here on site today. Our plan is provide the vaccine in the first instance to those staff directly providing care to confirmed and suspect COVID-19 cases including ICU, the Emergency Department/RRU and the Red zone wards – Medical 2, 3 and 4. Over the course of next week and beyond, this will be extended to all staff in the hospital.”

Dr Anne Drake, the Director of Nursing at Letterkenny University Hospitals whose team is delivering the COVID-19 vaccine campaign across the hospital said, “2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone including health care staff. Today is a really positive day and I want to thank our peer vaccination team here in LUH for their commitment to rolling out this essential vaccine. This vaccine will be provided via 2 doses. Information will be provided to each person who receives the vaccine explaining the process to them, including the requirement to receive a second dose of this vaccine in 3 weeks. While the vaccine is not mandatory, it is recommended that everyone gets the vaccine when it is offered to them. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should protect from the serious complications of COVID-19 and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.”

Commenting Tony Canavan CEO of the Saolta Group, which has overall responsibility for the acute hospitals and the west and north west said, “Today is a really important day for Letterkenny University Hospital and we are delighted that we have commenced the roll-out of this critical vaccination programme in the hospital. The vaccines will be delivered in stages and we will be extending the vaccination programme across the entire hospital over the coming weeks as we receive vaccine supply. This is a huge vaccination programme and our priority it to provide it to our staff as quickly as possible in the safest possible manner.”

Concluding Paul Hooton, Saolta Group Chief Group Director of Nursing and Midwifery said, “We began the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign last week in University Hospital Galway and today we have begun vaccination clinics in some of our other hospitals, including Letterkenny University Hospital. We are working hard across each of our hospitals in the Saolta Group to ensure that this critical vaccine is provided to all staff as soon as possible.”

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH)