Fylde coast nurse is a vaccine “hero’’

Vaccinator Karen Straw with Gail Berwick

A FYLDE COAST nurse who has been shielding because of a cancer diagnoses has been labelled a hero by her grand-daughter.

Gail Bewick, 56, a Ward Manager at Blackpool Victoria Hospital was one of the first members of NHS staff classed as “vulnerable’’ to get the new Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and is now hoping that having the vaccination will enable her to stay at work and not have to shield anymore.

Gail, who has worked for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 23 years, said: “Because of recurrent respiratory problems I have had to shield twice now which was awful as I was unable to attend work and be with my orthopaedic department family. I shielded in April until August and I have just returned as I was asked to shield again in November until December. 

 “I returned to work last Monday and got offered to be one of the first to receive the vaccination and I jumped at the chance.

 I love my job and wanted to be with my staff and my patients.

 “When I knew I could get the vaccine I jumped at the chance.

 “I really do see the vaccination as a lifeline and I am so glad to have been one of the first to have it so I can get back to doing my job.

“I spoke to my granddaughter Izzy, who is seven, about getting the vaccine and she said I was a hero which was so lovely to hear.

“I really would encourage everyone to get the vaccine when it is offered to them.’’

The NHS in England began the biggest and most highly anticipated immunisation campaign in history at 50 hospital hubs last week, with more starting vaccinations over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was among the first hospitals to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Since the Pfizer vaccine got the green light from regulators, health service staff have been working around the clock to manage the huge scale logistical challenge of deploying the vaccine.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “The deployment of this vaccine marks a decisive turning point in the battle with the pandemic. NHS vaccination programmes which have successfully helped overcome tuberculosis, polio, and smallpox, now turn their focus to coronavirus.

“NHS staff are proud to be leading the way as the first health service in the world to begin vaccination with this Covid jab.”

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