DESPITE the loss of his elderly father recently to Covid-19, a local GP has spoken of his firm hopes that the new vaccine could at last provide “a way out from this pandemic.”
Dr Brendan O’Hare from Castlederg has hailed the performance of the new immunising agent, developed by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech, as “stunning.”
He said that if and when it is rolled out by the NHS, he and his staff will be working around the clock to administer the new drug.
Dr O’Hare’s father, Cyril (89) from Enniskillen and formerly of Hannahstown, passed away at a nursing home on October 29.
“There is absolutely no doubt that this is a very hopeful development,” Dr O’Hare explained.
“The results from the vaccine are very impressive.
“Already they have immunised tens of thousands of people and the side effects are negligible to date. The results of early tests have shown it is highly protective.”
Announced on Monday, the early results from the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine demonstrated it could prevent more than 90 per-cent of people from getting Covid-19.
Dr O’Hare continued, “It’s now extremely encouraging that this vaccine could provide a way out from this pandemic.
“The vaccine has far exceeded my expectations and I would be hopeful when it is rolled out we can put this thing behind us.
“My father died from Covid ten days ago; he was in a nursing home and had a poor quality of life. In the end, I was with him and he died peacefully.
“But having seen Covid and what it can do, you can be assured that when this vaccine is rolled out we’ll be working round the clock to do all we can.”
Pfizer and BioNTech now plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November and it has been suggested that a limited number of people may get the vaccine this year.
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses with Northern Ireland expected to receive about 570,000 doses if it passes the next stage of trials and
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reported as saying that he was giving GPs an extra £150million to help with the roll-out, adding that NHS staff “will rise to this challenge of being ready when the science comes good to inject hope into millions of arms this winter.”