THE FIRST person to have received a coronavirus vaccine in Ireland has received her second jab.
Annie Lynch, aged 79, received her second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine yesterday, meaning she will shortly be the first person in Ireland to be fully immunised against the respiratory virus wreaking havoc across the globe.
The Dublin woman made history in December when she became the first in the Republic to receive the vaccine, and said at the time that she felt "very privileged".
"Like everyone else I have been waiting for the vaccine and I really feel like there is a bit of hope there now," she said. "It’s brilliant that it’s here."
The Pfizer vaccine works by giving one dose, followed by a second three weeks later, and seven days after the second dose the person should be fully immune to the Covid-19 virus.
Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) yesterday shared the news that Ms Lynch had received her second dose, posting an image of the Dubliner holding her 'Vaccination record' and clearly sporting a grin underneath her mask.
Annie said: "I’m relieved to have the two doses and can’t wait to see my family and grandchildren. I felt fine after the first dose, no after effects at all. I am delighted to have received the second dose. "
HSE CEO Paul Reid said: "In seven days Annie will be protected against developing serious infection and illness if exposed to Covid-19. This offers everyone affected by this virus welcome reassurance, especially as we are seeing such high infection rates and record numbers of patients in our hospitals.
"It’s another considerable step towards reclaiming our lives from the grip of Covid-19 which continues to take such a toll on so many people."
The first healthcare worker to be vaccinated in Ireland, Clinical Nurse Manager Bernie Waterhouse, also received her second dose of the vaccine yesterday at St James' Hospital in Dublin.
Figures show that an estimated 94,000 people in Ireland have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, with these figures expected to rise exponentially week-by-week as more vaccines are approved by the EU regulator.
The news offers some hope in Ireland's battle against the pandemic, as the Republic continues to experience high rates of transmission and deaths.
Yesterday, the highest-ever daily death toll in Ireland was announced by the National Public Health Emergency Team, with 93 more people having passed away from the virus.
Speaking yesterday after Ms Lynch and Ms Waterhouse received their second doses, Chief clinical officer of the HSE, Colm Henry, said : "We are delivering second doses across the country, which will mean those people are much less likely to suffer severe consequences of Covid-19.
"The vaccine will enhance and not replace the public health measures which halt transmission of Covid-19. It is important that these core activities — staying apart, wearing masks, hand washing and following the public health measures — remain our frontline of defence against the worst effects of Covid-19."