A nurse has delivered Ireland’s first COVID-19 vaccine today (Tuesday) in St. James’ Hospital Dublin.
The INMO described it as a “proud day for the profession”, which showed that “nursing will be at the heart of the vaccination project”.
The first recipient will be a 79-year-old patient in Dublin, followed by healthcare workers, including an ICU nurse and a COVID ward nurse.
Nurses and midwives have made up 1 in 20 (5%) of all COVID cases in Ireland.
INMO President and Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Karen McGowan, said:
“It’s a proud day for our profession. Nurses have been at the front of the COVID fight since the virus first arrived. We are now taking these important steps against this horrible virus.
“Nurses and midwives take our responsibilities incredibly seriously. Having fought so hard against this virus, our training and expertise in vaccination programmes are essential in delivering this programme across the health services.
“We remain very focused on reducing infections from this virus and ultimately eliminating its threat to our lives and livelihoods.
“We are turning a corner, but it is still extremely important that everyone follows public health advice in the coming weeks to avoid our health service being overwhelmed.”
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said:
“Nursing will rightly be at the heart of the vaccination project. One in twenty COVID cases in Ireland have been nurses or midwives. With all our healthcare colleagues, we have worked beyond exhaustion and at great risk to protect patients.
“Today is rightly a day for celebration, but we think of all our colleagues who are still suffering the effects of the virus.
“Leading the fight against this virus around the world, nursing as a profession has suffered many casualties, alongside the many healthcare workers losing their lives on the frontline. Today we remember all those brave healthcare workers and their families.
“Full vaccination cannot come quickly enough. This battle is not over but today is a very important step towards that day.”