Mother-of-one Rosalyn Buxton has become the first North Staffordshire care home worker to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The 55-year-old was among 195 people to receive the jab at the Royal Stoke University Hospital yesterday.
It comes as the hospital is working with six care homes in North Staffordshire to get their staff vaccinated during the first phase of the roll-out.
And care home residents should receive the jab where they live within weeks.
Rosalyn, of Sneyd Green, works at Gorsefield Residential Home, in Burslem.
She said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be the first care home worker to get the vaccination. It took less than a second to have it done and it didn’t hurt at all.
“I was asked last week about having it done and at first I was a bit undecided because it is something new, but I want to protect my family, my friends, my work colleagues and the residents I work with.”
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Rosalyn worked in care for 18 years before taking a job outside the sector. She moved back into the field two years ago, after losing her father.
Rosalyn, whose 25-year-old daughter is also a carer, said: “When my dad died I thought, ‘We are not on this Earth for long, go back into care’. I wanted to do some good and better myself.
“It has been very busy over the past few months but the job satisfaction has been great.”
Gorsefield has avoided any Covid-19 cases among its 16 residents, but the pandemic has taken its toll.
Rosalyn added: “It has been heart-breaking for residents not to see their families. The only people they have seen for months are the staff and professionals like the doctor.
“We have had to wear full PPE. I’ve got used to it now and we do it to protect the residents and the staff. The team has all pulled together and stuck to the rules. We have just been going to work and going home, and only going out when we need to. You just have to get on with it. It’s not something I ever want to go through again in my life.
“I am hoping this vaccine will get rid of it and things can go back to normal.”