“I’ve made history? Well I’m proud of that of course” … the words of 88-year-old Dennis Lyne, who was the first patient in Devon and Cornwall to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination today, following its clinical approval.
“I feel now that I am not so vulnerable because obviously I was vulnerable before,” he added.” Of course, everyone is at the moment, but particularly myself because of my age being over 80. Having the vaccine has given me peace of mind. In time I’ll be able to go and see my family, its protecting me, protecting them, the people I mix with.”
Today staff at Derriford Hospital have vaccinated patients after receiving our first delivery of the vaccination. In line with the clear national direction set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, we are focusing on offering the vaccine to those aged over 80 and those working in care homes first.
Sue Wilkins, Director of Mass Vaccination and Testing at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, said: “Today is a momentous day and it is really exciting to be part of this point in history. It has taken a huge effort, involving not just clinical staff, but colleagues from right across our organisation and I am grateful to every single one of them.
"We have seen some delighted patients today and I have had conversations with many of them, who could not be more grateful. They came in for an outpatient appointment and went home having had that plus a COVID vaccine. Our plans going forward will, of course, be dependent on the rate at which we receive future supplies.
"This is a rolling programme and we will work really hard on using the supplies we receive as quickly as we can. We know that the more quickly we are able to administer the vaccine to those people at most risk, potentially the more lives we save.”
As we rollout the vaccine over the coming months, we are asking people to please:
- Wait to be called – NHS staff will be contacting contact patients who have been identified as priority to be offered the vaccine first. Please do not contact the hospital or your GP.
- Continue to adhere to the Hands, Face, Space and other measures that are helping us limit the spread of the virus.