A CARE HOME in Penarth has become the first in the Vale of Glamorgan to get all of its residents vaccinated.

Towerhill Care Home last week had all 14 residents vaccinated, and Peggy Nicholls, who is 87 and has lived at the home since January 2019, was one of the first to receive the jab.

She said: “I think we're really lucky to have the vaccine. It makes me feel much safer to know I've had it. It didn't even hurt. The staff are lovely here and we have lots of fun together.”

Beth Zehetmayr, manager of Towerhill, said: “This is an incredibly happy day for everyone at Towerhill. After all that we have been through together we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Penarth Times: Peggy Nicholls getting her vaccinePeggy Nicholls getting her vaccine

“Covid-19 has brought challenges for both staff and residents that we could never have expected but seeing their resilience and determination to make the most of life has been wonderful. I am absolutely delighted to be able to celebrate with them today.

“Our staff have been phenomenal throughout. The last year has been so tough but they have never stopped giving their all to make our give our residents the best possible quality of life.

“There is a huge network of people supporting our residents. As a care home manager my experience of the pandemic has been a positive one, where people work incredibly hard and go out of their way to help and support each other. We have had great support from the Vale of Glamorgan Council, the testing team, our colleagues in the health service, and many more.

“I hope that today now marks the beginning of the end and a big step back to normal life for all our residents.”

Cartref Porthceri in Barry is another home to have welcomed Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board’s mobile vaccinations team.

Penarth Times: Sheila Pritchard was thrilled to be vaccinatedSheila Pritchard was thrilled to be vaccinated

Marijke Jenkins, Operational Manager for Residential Services, said: “I’m thrilled to see staff and residents receiving the COVID-19 vaccine together. The past 10 months have been so challenging for all of us and it’s great to finally have some really positive action to help our residents.”

Fiona Kinghorn, Executive Director of Public Health at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “It is fantastic to see our vaccine roll out programme building pace and offering hope to our communities. We are working closely with a whole range of partners to ensure that we vaccinate as many eligible people as quickly and as safely as possible.

“Care home staff and residents fall into the top four priority groups, which are the focus of the first stage of our vaccination programme. We have already vaccinated more than 1,700 care home staff and almost 350 care home residents through our mobile vaccination teams and we are committed to vaccinating all care home residents and health and social care staff by the end of January.”

On Thursday a leading pharmacies body called on the Welsh Government to engage with them to tackle an “urgent need” to deliver the vaccines.

Penarth Times: Sherida Dixon getting her vaccineSherida Dixon getting her vaccine

Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) wrote to the health minister on Thursday to say only one of Wales’ seven health boards had approached pharmacies about giving vaccines.

In the letter sent to Mr Gething this afternoon CPW wrote: “Community pharmacies need to be involved at scale in providing the vaccine.

“To date only the Hywel Dda LHB has even asked for expressions of interest from community pharmacists in participating.”

They said even the contractors who had expressed an interest have not been commissioned to provide vaccines.

Penarth Times: Community Pharmacy Wales has written to Vaughan Gething asking why so few pharmacies have been contactedCommunity Pharmacy Wales has written to Vaughan Gething asking why so few pharmacies have been contacted

Almost 113,000 people in Wales have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, which is about 3.6 per cent of the population.

The Welsh Government said: "We welcome the appetite from CPW for pharmacies to deliver the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

"More pharmacists - and other primary care contractors, such as dentists and opticians - are being invited to help the huge effort to vaccinate people against coronavirus in the weeks and months ahead, subject to sufficient supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine."