GPs in Belmullet administered their first doses of the vaccine to the over 85s last week.
Dr Fergal Ruane said they got their long-awaited vaccination doses last Tuesday morning and they were given to more than 80 patients by 6pm that evening.
“I have never seen a happier group of people than the people who came into us for the vaccine. It was unreal. It was like a socially-distanced party-atmosphere all day. They were like kids they were so happy,” said the Belmullet GP.
He said some of the stories from his patients were ‘heart-breaking’ with many barely leaving their home over the past year. Some elderly people in the area have scarcely seen a soul save for the person who delivers their groceries.
Dr Ruane said a small number of patients were too afraid to leave their homes and come into the surgery for the vaccine. Their doses will have to be given out by the HSE at a later date.
“But then we had others who practically ran in the door to us. An 85-year old person running in is a sight to behold!” said Dr Ruane.
The GP said it was frustrating to have to wait so long to receive their doses of the Pfizer vaccine and the seemingly ‘random’ way they were divvied out across the country caused ‘annoyance’.
This week will see the first Covid-19 vaccinations among medically-vulnerable people aged between 16 and 69 who are at a very high risk of severe disease and death. This will be the fourth cohort on the prioritisation list to get vaccinated. Those aged over 85 who have yet to get their first dose, which is thought to be around 500 people, are due to get their jabs this week, along with other housebound people.
A further 37,000 doses have been allocated for people aged 80-84 this week, from the overall target of more than 84,000 to be administered this week. The HSE notified GPs at the weekend of an expected delay in their Moderna vaccine deliveries.