Una McBarron is the first person in Cavan, Residential Services for Older Persons to receive the Pfizer BioNTech COVID19 vaccine

Una McBarron, 102 year old, female from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan has become the first person in residential services for Older People in Community Heatlhcare Organisation Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo) to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Una’s vaccine was the first Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be administered by vaccinators at Breffni Care Centre, Ballyconnell, Cavan.

Una said, “I’m happy to receive the vaccine today. It is a privilege to have it. I want to thank all of the staff in Breffni for looking after us so well and keeping us safe from this virus”.

Una was given a HSE vaccine information leaflet, along with more detailed manufacturer’s patient information leaflet, before getting the vaccine. Afterwards, each person vaccinated was given a vaccine record card, showing the name and batch of the vaccine they have received. Residents and Staff will each return for their second dose, to be fully protected, in three weeks.

Rae Ann Pasco, Senior Enhanced Nurse at Breffni Care Centre became the first Healthcare Worker in CHO 1 to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  Rae Ann said “This is an important day in our fight against Covid-19.  I am happy to be receiving this vaccine and wish to encourage all those who are invited to get the vaccine to take it”.

John Hayes, Chief Officer of CHO 1 said: “This is a day of hope for a better future. It is a good day for the residents and staff of Breffni Care Centre and we are delighted that we can start rolling out the vaccine for our community. I would particularly like to thank all of the healthcare workers in CHO 1 who worked tirelessly to make this day possible. I would also like to thank healthcare staff who have worked so hard at the frontline over the past year to protect our community from Covid-19 and support those who were impacted by this deadly virus. While today does offer 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. It is important to remember that by wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing and practising good hand hygiene, you’re supporting frontline workers to maintain essential health services for the people of CHO 1”.

Loida Aragon, Assistant Director of Nursing at Breffni Care Centre said “This is a great day for Una McBarron and her family and all our residents and staff. Since March 1st 2020 our residents and their families and staff have been living in fear and preparing for all the worst case scenarios that Covid 19 could bring to our door, they have been separated from their loved ones for almost a year and they have paid a heavy price, we are proud to say that due to the fantastic efforts of our team here in Breffni Care Centre we have so far managed to keep COVID-19 outside the door. Now as we vaccinate today, we start to build the wall of protection for our residents and staff and we look forward to 2021”.

Worldwide, vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives each year – and protect many more from crippling and lifelong illnesses. Only COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised by the European Medicines Agency, having met stringent safety and effectiveness standards, will be used in Ireland. All COVID-19 vaccines will be carefully monitored over time and updated safety data and information will be published and shared by the HSE, on our website and in our printed information materials.

Everyone can find factual, up-to-date information, based on scientific evidence on:


Photo Captions:

Photo 1:  Una McBarron, 102 year old, from Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, receiving Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine from Grainne Gillece at Breffni Care Centre.

View video of vaccine being given here:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1347198138017345538

Photo 2: Rae Ann Pasco, Senior Enhanced Nurse at Breffni Care Centre receiving the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine from Helen O’Reilly at Breffni Care Centre.

View video of vaccine being given here:  https://twitter.com/i/status/1347199200682008576

Notes for Editors:

About the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

The COVID-19 vaccine offers people protection from COVID-19, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine should also protect people from the serious complications of COVID-19. Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.

·        The first delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine was received by the HSE on December 26th, and the vaccination programme began on December 30th.  Based on advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, NIAC, our first limited stock were given to people in hospital settings, where medical teams can be on call on site.

·        From January 4th, the programme is being rolled out to long term residential care facilities for older people. This will be aligned with further and ongoing deliveries of the vaccine, over a 6 week rolling programme throughout all 582 nursing homes, public and private, all over the country. Our vaccinator teams will be giving vaccines at each of those locations, making 2 separate visits, 3 weeks apart.

·        In the later phases of the programme that will focus on the next priority groups, people may be vaccinated through mass vaccination clinics, GP surgeries and community pharmacies. This will be done by qualified and trained healthcare workers, including hospital doctors, community medical officers, nurses, GPs and pharmacists. More information will be given about the later phases when they have been agreed and implemented.

·        Ireland has approximately 580 nursing homes, 80% of which are privately owned, and the vaccination of their residents is a highly complex process requiring the cooperation of all stakeholders.

·        Each CHO is working with their local nursing home providers to finalise their schedules. This requires each provider to assure themselves that they can register each staff member and resident who wishes to take the vaccine and collect the required 55 individual pieces of information on each person who wishes to be vaccinated several days before the vaccination team is due to arrive.

·        Each provider must also ensure that each staff member and each resident (and their families where appropriate) understand and give informed consent to the vaccine.

·        The target completion date for all 580 Public, Private and Voluntary Nursing Homes is February 28th next, bearing in mind that COVID outbreaks may interrupt vaccination.

·        The HSE has commenced an information programme all about the vaccine, starting with printed and online information for the first priority groups being offered the vaccine, along with national and regional radio advertising, and social media advertising on a range of platforms.

·        Our information covers the topics that people told us were most important to them – when the vaccine will be available, who is in the priority groups, safety and long-term side effects, and how effective the vaccine is. You can find our vaccine information materials and other details at www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine, and through our social media accounts.

We encourage everyone in Ireland to read more about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source, like the HSE, Gov.ie, the HPRA or the World Health Organisation