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Joseph’s Gets The Jab


ith Greystones’ nursing homes due to receive their vaccines next week, the award-winning Saint Joseph’s Shankill have sent out this press release…

On Tuesday 12th of January, the Dun Laoghaire HSE Vaccine team arrived bright and early to Saint Joseph’s Shankill, Ireland’s largest home solely dedicated to dementia care.

A team of 7 joined the staff at Saint Joseph’s to vaccinate all 60 residents and staff at the centre over two days. As the vaccination programme is in the very early stages of being rolled out throughout the country, all parties focussed on safety first, to ensure that everyone felt secure and comfortable with the procedure itself.

The HSE team, of nurses and doctors, normally look after the immunisation programmes within schools and community, and have been redeployed to the national vaccination programme for the foreseeable future.

One resident, Mary Mernagh, who lives in Avoca Lodge in Saint Joseph’s commented, “It wasn’t sore at all!” after she received the small injection in her upper arm. She continued, “it is good to know I am safe now.”

Staff alike were hugely excited and relieved to be one of the first people to receive the vaccine in Ireland. While awaiting the residents, to finish their breakfast, so they felt unrushed and at ease with the process, the first person vaccinated at Saint Joseph’s was clinical nurse manger (CNM2) Sarah Kuntz, from Kilcoole. Sarah said, “I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so excited about today and of course I was running through all the procedures we had put in place to facilitate the programme here and hoping it would all go well!”

Health Care Worker Derville Keating said in a message to everyone in the community, “Go get it when you get the chance, it will be worth it to keep us all safe.”

The team will return to Saint Joseph’s Shankill in 21 days to administer the second dose of the vaccine to everyone. It is thought that it takes a further week after the second dose for people to develop immunity.

In the meantime, serial testing in all nursing homes has been increased to weekly for all staff, due to the high and concerning rates of community transmission. Norma Sheehan, Director of Nursing at Saint Joseph’s commented, “Receiving the first dose of the Covid 19 vaccine is in itself a great ray of hope for us all here, but the threat of Covid 19 to us and the potential devastating impact it would have. We must remain vigilant and reactive to all the public health advice.

“We are so lucky to have an amazing team working together to get through this difficult time, and we would also of course like to thank all our family members, volunteers and the community as a whole for their continued support and well wishes.”