‘It’s our way out of this nightmare’

‘It’s our way out of this nightmare’

6 January 2021

A LOCAL councillor is urging everyone to avail of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Councillor Kathyrn Owen Rowallane got the the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine over a week ago in her role as a member of the vaccination team at Southern Heath Trust.

The Saintfield mother also works as a bank nursing auxiliary at Craigavon Area Hospital alongside working to complete her PhD in Cardiology.

With over 12,500 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the last week – double the number in the previous week – the local politician says hospitals are bracing themselves for a hike in admissions within days.

She told the Recorder: “The recent figures have been so bad and Newry, Mourne and Down is sliding up the scale again in the wrong way. I would implore that everyone plays their part, stays at home, follow the guidelines and take the vaccine.

“We are absolutely slaughtered in hospitals and those big numbers of new cases will feed into admissions and we are already at capacity.

“A fortnight from now, a proportion of the new cases will end up in hospital and hospitals have not yet had the chance to get out of surge two and we are straight into surge three.”

The local councillor spoke of her personal relief at being vaccinated.

“At the moment I’ve only got the first jab which I will get the second in about 10 weeks time. But 60% or so protection is better than none.

“I view it as a great blessing and we have to be very grateful to our scientists who have worked around the clock to get us where we are today.”

The DUP councillor said she experienced no issues from having the vaccine.

She confirmed that her vaccination team are doing around 600 vaccinations a day and that hospital staff will be rolling out the Pfizer vaccine while Gps will be responsible for administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We have our doctors and nurses taking the vaccine and these are healthcare professionals who understand the rigorous testing that all new drugs go through,” said Cllr Owen. “They are putting their money where their mouth is and at the end of the day so am I.

“I’m happy to stand over this to encourage others in the uptake. It’s our way out of this nightmare that we are all in.”

Her one regret is that her husband and children are not been yet vaccinated from the virus.

She added: “They will have to wait their turn but I am the one in the family who’s probably at the highest risk as I work on wards and could be bringing it home. But as long as I’m vaccinated it obviously in turn reduces their risk.”