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Westport man receives Covid-19 vaccination in Belfast


VACCINE Westport native David McKeown, pictured here with his son Ronan, received his first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 22 in Belfast.

Anton McNulty

A WESTPORT native who received the Covid-19 vaccine through his work in Belfast says he would recommend to everyone who has the opportunity to avail of it.
David McKeown, who works as a podiatrist with the Belfast Trust, got his first jab of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 22 in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Speaking to The Mayo News, David described the process of administering the vaccines in the hospital as a ‘machine’ and he was in and out within 30 minutes.
“We received an email at work on Monday and I was offered the vaccine as I do work in the hospital doing preliminaries with patients with diabetic disease. Other people at work were getting it and shortly after clicking on the link and entering my details I had booked a ten minute slot the following day.
“The whole process is seamless. When you arrive you are give information and then you move into the vaccination dock where you are given the vaccination. The injection is straightforward enough and you wait another 15 minutes to ensure you have no immediate side effects.
“It is an efficient machine they are running there in the hospital with ten people in every ten minutes. You are in and out within 35 minutes and back to work again,” the 53 year-old explained.
A week after receiving his first dose, David said that he has had no side effects and is looking forward to his second dose which will take place on January 12.
He explained that some patients he deals with are a bit sceptical about getting the vaccine because of concerns over side effects but believes that the more elderly patients and healthcare workers who get it will convince the general public to avail of it.
“I was talking to a person who was worried about getting it and she was surprised I got it. She asked me was I worried about the dangers from it but I said I didn’t think there was much to worry about and it has been well researched. I think once people realise their peers have taken it they will start taking it too,” he explained.
David said he was surprised to be offered the vaccine so early but was happy to take it as it will give him some reassurance when dealing with patients given the high rate of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.
The North is currently in a six week lockdown with an evening curfew and David hopes that the public will ‘knuckle down’ to bring numbers down.
With the second dose in January, David should theoretically be immune to the affects of the coronavirus but stresses he has no plans to go flying anywhere just yet.
“I was hoping to go to Westport for New Years but those plans were shelved but hopefully I will get down for St Patrick’s Day or Easter. I am not planning on flying anywhere just yet, it will remain domestic for a while yet,” he concluded.