Smiles of hope as care home residents and staff receive their first vaccine

Valerie Lee (far right) became the first resident at the Old Vicarage to get the coronavirus vaccine  

Valerie Lee (far right) became the first resident at the Old Vicarage to get the coronavirus vaccine - Credit: Tracy Lovatt

Residents and staff at an Otterton care home have had their first coronavirus vaccine. 

Those living and working at The Old Vicarage care home received the Pfizer BioNtech jab at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on Wednesday (January 6). 

The vaccine comes after almost 10 months of shielding for the elderly residents who were previously very much involved in the Otterton and wider Otter Valley community.  

Although life has been kept as normal as possible within the home, news reports of rapidly rising cases in the community naturally caused increased anxiety, worries and fears for staff and residents alike. 

Care home bosses called vaccine day a ‘monumental moment’ for the care home and that its is a ‘real step towards protecting people and saving lives’. 

A spokesman for the care home said: “No wonder there were smiles of hope and optimism as residents and staff left the vaccination centre.” 

90-year-old Valerie Lee, was the first of the residents to be vaccinated, she said “I was so pleased to have the vaccine, it has given me real peace of mind and I feel much happier now.  

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“I was impressed with the staff at the vaccination centre who were very friendly, calm and efficient,” 

Home manager, Sue Hardwick, said: “We are delighted to be offered the vaccine at this early stage in the roll out of the programme.  

“It will make a huge difference to have peace of mind, especially as we are caring for extremely vulnerable people. 

“I would like to pay tribute to our wonderful staff team at The Old Vicarage who have kept all our residents safe during the pandemic by adhering to the strict infection controls and participating in regular testing.  

“We have risen to the challenges of the constantly changing environment with a smile and genuine care to do the best we possibly can.  

“We are proud of what we have achieved but as Home Manager, I can’t deny that I will sleep a little better knowing that we now have that added layer of protection.” 

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