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Care home residents among first in line for vaccinations

Published: 12 January 2021

Residents of our care homes are among the first people to receive the much-awaited vaccine against COVID-19.

Jean Holt
Jean Holt, of The Leys care home in Ashbourne celebrates getting the COVID-19 vaccination.

A 99-year-old COVID survivor is among the residents to be given the jab through the NHS vaccination programme which is being rolled out across the country.

It’s great news for the elderly people in our care homes, who are among the most vulnerable to the virus.

Speaking after receiving the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday, Ivy Dawson, who will be 100 in October, said she was very relieved to get the vaccine. She said:

“Being here is the next best thing to being at home and I hope the vaccine means we can soon move forward."

Ivy has lived at our Goyt Valley House home for older people for more than 2 years and came down with the virus in May but has now recovered.

Among other residents to get the vaccine was Jean Holt, 93, from The Leys, who’s been at the Ashbourne care home for a year. Residents there received the first of their two Pfizer BioNTech vaccines on New Year’s Day.

Our cabinet member for adult care, Councillor Jean Wharmby said getting the vaccine was an enormous relief to everyone. She said:

“These are momentous times for our residents, who are among the most vulnerable in Derbyshire.

“Getting the vaccine now is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and brilliance of everyone involved, including our own staff who are supporting their colleagues in the NHS to make this happen.

“I hope this giant step will help bring a more normal way of life nearer and ensure we can be reunited with our loved ones as soon as we can.”

Unit manager at Goyt Valley House on Jubilee Street in New Mills, where vaccinations got under way yesterday (Monday, January 11), Cheryl Hudson, added:

“We’re all so glad this day has arrived. It means so much to us, particularly the residents and their families.

“It’s been a very difficult time for everyone, and I know things won’t be back to normal for a while, but this is such a ray of hope for us all.”

Juanita Wheeldon, manager of The Leys, on Old Derby Road, Ashbourne, who was also vaccinated on the same day as residents, said:

“I am extremely proud of my staff, who have shown the utmost commitment to caring for our residents throughout this pandemic, taking additional shifts, sacrificing leave and time spent with their families to provide care for our residents.

“It has been a difficult time for all and particularly for the families of our residents as all the care in the world does not replace the embrace of a loved one.

“While we will continue to wear all the necessary PPE and follow all infection control measures for some time to come, I hope the vaccination will bring us back to normality as soon as possible.”

Care home residents and social care staff are in the first priority group outlined by the government which says it hopes to vaccinate all care home residents by the end of the month.

Councillor Wharmby added:

“I’d like to pay tribute to our colleagues in the NHS as well as our own care staff for working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine programme.

“The vaccine is a shining light at the end of a long tunnel and I’d encourage everyone to take it up when it’s offered.”