January 10, 2021
Day one of Gibraltar’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is complete. The day started at 04:30am with today’s doses of the vaccine being removed from the ultra-cold storage freezers by GHA Pharmacists Shiraz Siblim and Melanie Gordon who, after undertaking all their necessary checks, delivered the correct number of vials to the GHA staff vaccination centre at St Bernard’s Hospital and, with a RGP escort, to the ERS home, Hillsides. On arrival in these two locations, the vaccine was refrigerated for three hours (as required) before being reconstituted for injection by nursing staff.
Dr Krishna Rawal was the very first person in Gibraltar to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at the staff vaccination station at St Bernard’s Hospital. Dr Rawal, who is the Acting Medical Director of the GHA and also a practicing GP, received his vaccination from District Nurse Daniella Hernandez at 08:44 this morning.
Over the course of the day a total of 288 members of front-line GHA staff received their first dose of the vaccine through the 8 vaccination stations in the hospital.
The first ERS resident to receive their vaccine was Mr Robert Durrell, a 93 year old gentleman who is a former nurse tutor, mentor, and role model to many nurses practicing in Gibraltar today. Mr Durrell was vaccinated by Jolyn Gonzalez, the ERS Nursing Coordinator. In total 47 ERS residents have been vaccinated today along with 85 members of ERS front line clinical and care staff.
In total, day one of the vaccination programme saw 420 people receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Gibraltar. No adverse reactions have been seen in anyone receiving the vaccine today.
Tomorrow the process continues with more vaccine being removed from storage before 05:00 am. Once again, the RGP will be providing a police escort for the delivery to the vaccination centres including the public vaccination centre in the former PCC in Casemates Square which starts vaccinating some of the oldest residents of Gibraltar from tomorrow.
ERS will deploy their vaccination team to Mount Alvernia and both Cochrane and Calpe wards to vaccinate residents and staff there.
The Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, Minister for Health and Care said: “Today is a momentous day for Gibraltar. As the Chief Minister said yesterday the fight back against COVID-19 in Gibraltar has now well and truly begun. The fact that the teams from ERS and the GHA have managed to vaccinate 420 residents and staff in one day is truly remarkable. Every person who has been vaccinated today is now starting to build an immune response to help protect them, their families, the public, and for staff their patients from this horrible virus. Seeing the photos of Mr Durrell after he had received his vaccine made me quite emotional and I know many other people felt the same way. I would like to express my grateful thanks to everyone who has been involved in the vaccination programme for their dedication and commitment to saving lives”.
Note - people who have been vaccinated today are reminded that the full immune response generated by the vaccine may not appear until a week after individuals have received the second dose of the vaccine. All precautions against COVID-19 therefore need to continue to be observed.