Care home resident, 104, becomes one of the oldest to receive Covid-19 vaccine

A 104-year-old care home resident has become one of the oldest people to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Joyce Birrell, who lives at Foxholes Care Home near the market town of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Thursday as part of the nationwide programme.

She was vaccinated alongside Usha Gandecha, the manager of the home, and all 70 residents.

Ms Gandecha said Mrs Birrell was “thrilled” to be one of the first to receive the jab.

She said: “It feels like we finally have light at the end of the tunnel and can start being optimistic about the future again.

“I put myself forward to be vaccinated first as a show of solidarity and unity with staff and residents alike, hoping to ease a few of the nerves some may have had and providing reassurance that, if I’m willing to have it, then it can’t be too bad.

“Alongside me was Joyce, who recently celebrated her 104th birthday with us. She too was thrilled to receive the jab and was in great spirits throughout the process.”

Ms Gandecha said she was “incredibly proud” of how staff have worked during the pandemic.

“Now, with the vaccine being rolled out, we’re even more determined to beat this virus and welcome back our residents’ loved ones and friends for visits in the near future,” she added.