These are the first patients to receive their coronavirus vaccines in Doncaster at new GP hubs

Ann Duggan has longed to hug her first great grandaughter for months.

By David Kessen
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 5:13 pm

Little Isabella was born eight months ago – just after the start of the first lockdown after the coronavirus first took a grip on the country.

But today (Tuesday December 15), Ann feels that she is a step closer to that longed for cuddle, after she became the first person in Doncaster to receive the new coronavirus vaccine at a newly set-up GP hub.

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Ann Duggan, is the first to recieve the Covid-19 Vaccination in Doncaster. Picture: NDFP-15-12-20-CovidVaccine 4-NMSY

Ann, aged 85, from Town Moor, arrived at the hub at 9am to have the injection in her left arm, with the procedure carried out by Melissa Kydd, a healthcare assistant who usually works at the Kingthorne GP practice, on Thorne Road. She will have to have a second jab in January before she has the full immunity.

As the morning progressed, a short queue began to develop outside the building which had been selected for the work for residents in the central Doncaster area, who had been contacted by their GPs and offered appointments at the hub.

This week, two Doncaster Primary Networks are starting vaccinating - the 4Doncaster PCN and Doncaster Central PCN – with three other PCNs expected to go live in the coming weeks. Each network has a single, joint hub. Today saw the start of the effort to vaccinate those in the borough aged over 80. There are around 15,600 to get through, and these are the age group most at risk from death or serious illness from the virus.

Around 300 doses per day are being given over the initial three days.

Ralph and Marlene Coleman, pictured. Picture: NDFP-15-12-20-CovidVaccine 9-NMSY

Patients who have received their jab then sit for 15 minutes to make sure they have no reaction to it.

Ann, a former fashion teacher in further education, had been shielding during lockdown, as she had suffered from diabetes.

She found out last week that she would have the vaccine today, and said she had been excited by the news.

"I was excited and a bit apprehensive,” she said. “But having injections doesn’t worry me.”

Jeannette Adams, of Bessacarr, is the second patient to recieve the Covid-19 Vaccination in Doncaster. Picture: NDFP-15-12-20-CovidVaccine 5-NMSY

"My great granddaughter is eight months old. She talks to me on the telephone and I’ve seen her at the window.

"It will be nice when I can cuddle her and play.

"It’s been a long time since I was out, and you get out of the habit of being sociable, but I think one of my granddaughters will get me back to it.

“Anyone who is not sure about having the vaccine, I say have it if you can. I think it’s important, and it’s better than getting Covid.”

Ralph Coleman, of Doncaster, came to recieve the vaccine with his wife Marlene. Picture: NDFP-15-12-20-CovidVaccine 8-NMSY

Following Ann into the room, as the second patient, was Jeannette Adams, aged 81, from Bessacarr.

Ann was well known for running the PE Adams electrical shop in Bentley with her husband.

She said it was marvellous to be having the injection, but her thoughts were with those who had died of the coronavirus.

“Look at all the people who have died. Today we are pioneers. It is a great day. If people are offered the vaccine, they should not refuse it – go ahead, we have to beat this. It’s not just for yourself, it’s for others too.”

The mum of one, who has two grown-up grandchildren said she had found lockdown hard and longed to be able to hug all her loved ones, although she is in a bubble with her son and her daughter in law and her grandsons..

"I just feel normal,” she said, “But I feel really happy. The plan is to go for a walk around Lakeside with my grandson, Jordan, to celebrate.”

Her niece, Tracy O’Reilly, from Bawtry added: “It’s wonderful – I’ve been welling up all morning because of this. It’s the most beautiful sight to see her immunised."

Couple Ralph and Marlene Coleman, from Bessacarr, married for 66 years, had their vaccines together.

Ralph, a retired horticulture expert aged 88, said they felt extremely lucky to be among the first to have the vaccine.

He said they had both been children of the second world war, and had found the coronavirus pandemic a more stressful and frightening time than the wartime during which they were brought up.

"This has been far more traumatic than the Second World War was for us,” he said.

Marlene, aged 85, a former health worker, said the couple had not seen some of their great grandchildren for a year, which they had found hard.

"I think people in our age group are delighted to have the vaccine she said. “I was very frightened. I never went shopping – our daughter-in-law did our shopping for us.”

The couple’s son, Martin, is a doctor, and was clear in his advice for his mother and father, who had some concerns at the back of their minds.

"Martin was very strong in his advice,” said Marlene. “He said ‘you damn well should have it’. He was very keen.”

Healthcare assistant Ms Kydd was one of a number carrying out the vaccination work, and said she felt proud and excited to be carrying out the first jabs in the borough, and to be part of the effort.

She said: “They have the jab, and then they’re observed for 15 minutes to check there’s no reaction. Today feels a bit like making history

"The patients have been fine. Some of them have said they were amazed how quickly we’ve been in touch with them.”

Dr Nick Tupper, GP and clinical director for 4Doncaster Primary Care Network described the vaccine as safe and effective.

He said the reaction from people who had been offered the vaccine had been hugely positive. He said: “It’s almost like they’ve got the golden ticket, so people are very excited to have it and are really wanting to have it which is brilliant to hear."

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.