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Former Bayside teacher among first vaccinated in UK against Covid-19

Sean Sullivan being administered the Covid-19 vaccine.

A former Bayside School teacher who now lives in the UK has been among the first people in Britain to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Sean Sullivan, 56, was administered with the first round of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday at the NHS-run Royal Cornwall Hospital and will follow up with his second shot at the beginning of January.

The first vaccine in UK was administered to 91-year old Margaret Keenan last Wednesday, with the programme being rolled out to vaccinate the over-80s and some health and care staff across the UK.

Although young, fit and healthy, Mr Sullivan was asked if he would consent to receiving the vaccine among the first cohort of recipients.

He told the Chronicle: “My nephew, Curtis, has very severe learning disabilities and he was transferred to a care home in Cornwall some five years ago.”

“Myself, my partner and my mum moved over to support with his care.”

“Because of my age and my health, I shouldn’t be in the first cohort but the reason why I am in the first cohort to receive the vaccine is because the care company want to address the different layers of protection.”

“I am a frequent visitor for my nephew, who is a vulnerable adult, so the care company felt this would be an additional layer of protection for the care workers and family members.”

Speaking to the Chronicle shortly after receiving the jab, he said the entire experience was very well organised and all he felt was slight discomfort in his arm.

Mr Sullivan was required to fill in a questionnaire where he answered questions on any allergies and also whether he consented to receive the vaccine.

He did not hide the fact that he was “slightly nervous” about receiving the jab.

“I am putting my faith in the experts and there is a level of not knowing,” Mr Sullivan said.

“I understand it has gone through the trial stages but what was a niggle is that that is all well and good but we don’t know what the long-term effects this will have on our bodies in five to 10 years’ time.”

“I had to balance it all up.”

“I want to protect my nephew and in order to do that I have to protect myself.”

“Of the people I know, some of them are very against the vaccine and some of them are very much in favour.”

“But before going to have it done I just thought to myself why am I doing this and first of all, I have to faith in the science.”

“And secondly I have to be able to provide the continuity in care for my nephew, because at the end of the day, it is very important for his mental health and his well-being for these visits to continue.”

Cornwall is currently in Tier 1 in the United Kingdom, with a relatively low number of cases in comparison to elsewhere in the country.

But despite the low level in numbers, there are strict rules in place in order to ensure the continuity of care in order to protect the residents at the care home.

Mr Sullivan has now received a card from the NHS which has been signed and dated as proof of having received the vaccine.

He was asked to keep it handy in his wallet to show he has been vaccinated.

Meanwhile Gibraltar’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is expected to begin in mid-January, with enough doses to vaccinate at least 35,000 people as from January.

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