A YOUNG nurse who was among first Carlow people to get the Covid-19 vaccine said she couldn’t wait to receive it.
Twenty-three-year-old Róisín Byrne from Tinryland got the jab on Tuesday 5 January in St James’s Hospital. Around 1,000 patients and staff at the Dublin hospital have received the first dose of the vaccine over the past fortnight.
“I just couldn’t wait to get it. I didn’t even think twice,” said Róisín, who will receive the second dose on Tuesday 26 January.
Róisín had been working in a Covid ward up to September but is now back in surgical and general wards. It is hoped the vaccine will provide protection for patients and staff where the risk of transmission can be high.
“You are meeting so many people,” said Róisín. “On the surgical ward you get a lot of sick people in and would be going on to ICU after. It’s for that protection … you don’t know what’s coming in.”
Róisín, who is a member of Bennekerry-Tinryland Ladies’ GFC and has worn the county colours, doesn’t see her routine changing too much after she is fully vaccinated but hopes to get back to some kind of normality.
“I can’t meet a lot of friends still, but I hope my family will be a bit more at ease with me coming home,” she said. “I’m dying to get back playing football! Just getting back a bit of normality.”
It’s a demanding time at work currently. The hospital was treating around 60 patients with Covid last week and seven were in intensive care.
“There is massive strain on bed management … a lot of staff are out with Covid,” she said.
There is scepticism about the vaccine in some quarters. While there was great uptake among her colleague to get the vaccine, Róisín said some staff had not taken up the opportunity, at least for the moment. However, she trusts the work and research that has gone into the vaccine.
“I hope everyone gets it. I think we need it, to be honest, or this is going to carry on for a lot longer than we anticipate.”