VIDEOS | “A day of hope” as first COVID-19 vaccines administered in Northern Ireland
A Dundrum woman is the first person to receive the COVID19 vaccine in Northern Ireland. Nurse Joanna Sloane is 28 years old and received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this morning (Tuesday 8 December).
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in the UK on December 2, with the first consignment arriving in Northern Ireland two days later.
Yesterday Health Minister Robin Swann said: “This will be a hugely important day and we can to look forward into next year with a degree of optimism. However, it needs to be stressed again and again that vaccination of the population is a massive undertaking that will take many months to complete.
“When it comes to clinical prioritisation, we will be closely guided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). It has identified care home residents as a top priority group.”
Nurse Joanna Sloane has been working at the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in the province, overseeing the mass testing programme over the last eight months. She will now manage the roll-out of the vaccine on behalf of the Belfast Trust.
Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said it is a remarkable day and “one that we’ve all been waiting for.”
Mr McBride said: “I am also looking back and thinking of the sacrifices, the harm, the loss, those who have lost loved ones particularly, and we need to be grounded for the present.
“The virus has not gone away and we will not see the benefits of the vaccine for so many months. We’re not in the place we need to be. So we need to continue to act to protect the vulnerable, protect those that are at risk, to protect each other, and to protect our health service.”
First Minister Arlene Foster commented on social media: “A day of hope when the first vaccination is administered in Northern Ireland.”