Portsmouth pensioner, 87, 'cross' at people who are spurning new Covid Pfizer vaccine

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A PENSIONER who is 'cross' at people spurning the chance to receive a Covid-19 vaccination at Queen Alexandra Hospital has championed the importance of taking the dose after lavishing praise on 'absolutely brilliant' staff.

Ruth Rogers, 87, was meant to be attending the Cosham hospital for just an eye check-up but was asked if she would like the Pfizer vaccine while she was there – an opportunity she grabbed with both hands.

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Michael Tibbs, 99, becomes first person to receive Covid jab at Queen Alexandra ...

The Drayton resident, who had cancer five years ago, admitted she was frustrated after hearing of a growing swell of distrust from people who were reluctant to have the dose if offered.

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Ruth Rogers had a Covid vaccination at QA - and is urging everyone eligible to do so 
Picture: Habibur RahmanRuth Rogers had a Covid vaccination at QA - and is urging everyone eligible to do so 
Picture: Habibur Rahman
Ruth Rogers had a Covid vaccination at QA - and is urging everyone eligible to do so Picture: Habibur Rahman

A recent poll by Kantar revealed only 43 per cent of Brits said they would definitely have the vaccination if eligible – down from 50 per cent in June.

The increasing scepticism – which has also been seen in other western countries – has been put down to a lack of faith in the government amid the speed of the production and roll-out.

But Ms Rogers said she had no hesitation in having the jab and has urged others to do the same if they have the chance.

‘So many people have been dying or are very ill because of Covid and then you hear of people saying “it won’t happen to us” and are not bothered about having the vaccine, it makes me very cross,’ she said.

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‘We all want the disease to be cleaned up and to get on with our lives and have worked so hard to get to where we are that it makes me sad when I hear that so many people will not have the vaccine.’

Ms Rogers said she was ‘over the moon’ to be offered the jab and said the experience was quick, painless and expertly executed.

‘The staff at the hospital were absolutely brilliant and treated me fantastically,’ she said following the inoculation last Thursday.

‘Upon arrival I was given a temperature check and hand sanitation. After completing a form I saw a doctor who gave me all the pros and cons and asked if there was anything else I wanted to know.

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‘There were two nurses in the room and one gave me the injection, which was not painful at all – I could hardly feel it.

‘Afterwards I was given a cup of tea and had to wait in a large room with armchairs for 15 minutes to make sure everything was fine.

‘Before leaving I was given an appointment for my second inoculation and was told by a doctor that if I had any problems I should call 111 and they will deal with it straight away.’

Ms Rogers added: ‘The care and attention was outstanding. I was very impressed, everyone was extremely helpful and it was very well organised and I didn’t have to wait long.’

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The pensioner, who worked at The University of Portsmouth as a student loan administrator in her last role before retiring and who was volunteering at Rowans Hospice until recently, has not had coronavirus – and is determined to keep it that way.

‘I wear a mask, wash my hands regularly and am very careful when I meet friends. I also walk away from people in the street and do my shopping at 7am to avoid people,’ she said.

‘We all have to take it seriously – and that means taking the vaccine as well.’

She will now have her second injection for the vaccination on January 4.

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‘I was told I still need to be careful but hopefully after a week or two weeks of the second dose I should be covered,’ she said. ‘I feel very lucky.’

Patients aged over 80 and care home workers started receiving the vaccine at the hospital on Monday of last week with 99-year-old Michael Tibbs the first person to receive the dose. ‘It's absolutely wonderful, I'm very lucky really,’ he said afterwards.

The first person in the UK to receive the vaccine was Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 this week.

Family doctors across England are beginning vaccinating their patients against Covid-19 as health experts issued fresh warnings about a rise in cases caused by Christmas socialising.

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GP practices in more than 100 locations started administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Monday afternoon, with the over-80s among those called up to receive the jab. In Hampshire GP surgeries that are running vaccination programmes will receive their doses today.

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