First patients vaccinated at James Paget

Karen Brown became the first patient at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston to receive the vaccine.

Karen Brown became the first patient at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston to receive the vaccine. - Credit: James Paget

Norfolk care home staff including carers, a head of housekeeping and a trainee deputy manager, were among the first people to be vaccinated at a Norfolk hospital.

Karen Brown, 41, who is the head of housekeeping at Ritson Lodge care home in Hopton, was the first person to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination at the James Paget University Hospital on Wednesday.

She said: “I am normally petrified of needles but I didn’t feel a thing. Hopefully this is the beginning of normality now. I just want people to smile again.”

Hannah Fulcher, 22, said she is receiving the vaccine to give hope for the residents at the Beeches Care Home in East Harling.

The trainee deputy manager said: “They haven’t been able to see family, they cannot hug – it’s getting towards Christmas now and we just want them to be happy. I will be able to go back and say ‘we are getting somewhere now.’"

Further patients to be vaccinated including 48-year-old Elizabeth Claxton, a carer based at the Gables residential home in Gorleston,and 82-year-old Joseph McNicolas, from Great Yarmouth, who has been vaccinated ahead of his 83rd birthday next week and wanted to be the first in the queue.

Mrs Claxton said:  “The pandemic has been so detrimental to so many people – not being able to see friends, family. I just want to get across to people that getting vaccinated is something you need to do.”

The Gorleston hospital has a team of 40 members of staff administering the vaccine.

Giving the fiirst jabs at the hospital were Samantha Blowers, Michelle Eichhorn and Siji Dileep.

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Mrs Dileep, who gave the first vaccine to Mrs Brown, and said: “I am proud to be part of this big vaccination programme and thank you for being my first patient."

The hospital is a coronavirus vaccine hub alongside the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.