'I feel privileged' - Hospital staff prepare to deliver covid vaccine

Linda Davis

Linda Davis, is among 40 members of staff at the James Paget University Hospital, that will be vaccinating patients. - Credit: JPUH

A Norfolk nurse who is among a 40-strong team of hospital staff delivering the first coronavirus vaccine jabs says she feels privileged to be involved in an historic moment.

Linda Davis, will be among the team at the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, that will begin delivering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to patients on Wednesday.

Mrs Davis has worked at the hospital since 1982 and stayed on after her retirement from the stroke specialist team in August to help deliver this year's flu vaccine.

Mrs Davis said: "During my career, I have witnessed first-hand the immense benefits that science and technology have brought to healthcare. When I started my nurse training, the first CT brain scanners had just come into operation – an historic development which really moved patient treatment forward.

“Now I feel it is a privilege to be involved in another historic moment, as we deploy a safe and effective vaccine to help protect ourselves against the virus.

“All the scientists have done a fantastic job in developing this vaccine – and its deployment will continue Britain’s proud track record over the years of keeping people safe through its immunisation programmes."

Also signed up as a vaccinator is Elly Elder, who is a safeguarding practitioner for adults and children and has worked at the hospital for more than 30 years predominantly as a paediatric nurse.

She said: "The pandemic has been tough on everyone as well as the vulnerable members of our community it has also been particularly hard on those people affected by losing their jobs or even their homes. Mental health and wellbeing has also been a struggle for many people and families have struggled to cope without schools, clubs or being able to visit care homes.

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“I have volunteered to be a vaccinator as it’s important for all of us to play our part in fighting Covid-19 and getting back to ‘normal’.”

The hospital said it had an "excellent" response by staff to its vaccination recruitment drive. 

Paul Morris, director of nursing.

Paul Morris, director of nursing. - Credit: JPUH

Paul Morris, JPUH director of nursing, said: “It is important to stress that these vaccinations are by appointment only. The vaccination programme will be expanding in the weeks ahead – and our message to the public is please don’t contact the NHS – we will contact you.” 

“In the meantime, please continue to follow all the guidance to help control the virus and save lives.”