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Covid jab celebrations for transplant teen


DELIGHT Ballyhaunis Community School student Rebecca Osgood Daly pictured with her mother Bernie outside the Beaumont Hospital after receiving her Covid-19 vaccine last Thursday. Pic: Conor McCabe Photography

Áine Ryan

IT has been a year of trepidation but last week there was a cause for celebration for one Ballyhaunis Community School student in particular who was in the ‘high risk’ category from Covid-19. Indeed, for kidney transplant recipient, Rebecca Osgood Daly (17), her receipt of the second jab was a family affair since it was her donor mother, a teacher in the school, who drove her to Beaumont Hospital for her final jab of the life-saving vaccine. The Fifth Year student, from Ballinlough, Co Roscommon, received her new kidney in 2010 after her mother was found to be a match.  
Rebecca was one of three transplant teenagers to receive their second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Thursday last, April 8, at the Dublin hospital, which has a special Kidney Centre. All have received kidney transplants and are former patients of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.   
The three teenagers are among the first in the revised Group Four classified to be in the ‘very high-risk’ to receive their second shot in the arm of the life-saving jab.
“With the changes that were brought in last month, revised group four was extended from 18-69 years to include 16 and 17 year olds. With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being the only one currently approved for 16 and 17 year olds the three teens were added to the list and their vaccination will now allow them to return to school with a greater sense of confidence,” a spokesperson for the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) explained.
The two other teenagers to receive the vaccine are Lana Devine (16) from Kells, Co Meath whose father is former Meath footballer, Jody Devine and Gearóid Wrafter (16) from Loughaun, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Speaking afterwards, Bernie Osgood said: “It has been a long time coming and we are so grateful to have reached this point. Rebecca has been cocooning for over a year, away from her friends, and it has been very difficult for her. When the first schedule for the rollout of vaccines was announced we were in disbelief that Rebecca and other transplant recipients of her age were not included. When the age category for the vaccination rollout was extended to over 16s it was a huge relief. Once her vaccine has had time to work in a few weeks, we expect that Rebecca will be able to get back to school after a year-long hiatus.”
Furthermore, Carol Moore, Chief Executive of the IKA, said: “We welcome the rollout of vaccinations and it offers hope to transplant recipients and dialysis patients to know that some younger members of this cohort have received their second dose of the vaccine. However, we are calling on the HSE for greater clarity in communication with patients who are still waiting their turn, to reassure them that they are on a list and give them an indication of the anticipated time frame for the vaccination of their group under their respective hospitals.”

MORE www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ app to your phone.