The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination began in Sligo University Hospital today, with Staff Midwife Mary Meade the first staff member in the hospital to receive it.

Ms Meade received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine from her nursing colleague Catherine Greaney.

Over the coming weeks the vaccination programme will be extended across the hospital and community services, with over 500 staff at Sligo University Hospital vaccinated by the end of this week.

Ms Meade said she was "delighted" to get the vaccine today.

"I have worked in SUH for over 20 years and am currently the staff midwife working in the maternity ward, which has been treating suspect and confirmed  Covid-19 patients since the onset of the pandemic, " she said.

"We have seen the devastating effect of this infection on our patients and their families and 2020 was a really difficult year for everyone working in the health services.

"As we begin a new year, it is really positive to see the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign."

Grainne McCann, Hospital Manager at Sligo University Hospital, said:

"Everyone in SUH is delighted to see the commencement of this vaccination programme here on site today.

"Our plan today is to provide the vaccine to staff on Red Zone areas/wards. Over the coming days and weeks we will be rolling out the vaccine to our staff and across the entire hospital.

"After a really difficult year we are delighted that this vital vaccination programme has begun here in Sligo University Hospital".