A 90-year-old former pharmacist was the first person in Ludlow to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

Elizabeth Whistler was given her first dose on her birthday as a team of doctors, nurses and health workers visited Hagley Place care home to inoculate 100 residents and staff.

The oldest person to receive the vaccine was aged 104.

A total of 47 residents were vaccinated in a process that took just over five hours to complete.

Although the first dose is expected to give significant protection, a second dose will be needed and this has been pencilled in for March.

Everything went according to plan in the first round of vaccinations and there have been no adverse reactions reported.

Experts say that following the inoculation immunity takes between nine and 12 days to develop.

“It is wonderful that we were the first care home in south Shropshire to get the vaccination,” said Mary-Jane Jekiel, manager at Hagley Place.

“I want to thank Dr Caron Morton and the team from Station Drive surgery not just for arranging for us to be the first care home to get the vaccine but also for all the support that they have given us over the past year.”

Whilst many care homes have experienced severe infection no one at Hagley Place has caught Covid.

Visitors have been able to see family through windows and a visitor pod has now been installed enabling each resident to have a visitor once a week.

Ms Jekiel hopes that vaccination will enable the home and the lives of residents and staff to return to some level of normality.

“For some residents they have had to go through more than during the war because it has not been possible to hug family,” Ms Jekiel said.

She said people who had problems with their hearing had faced particular difficulty.

“With masks being worn it has not been possible to see people’s mouths and this is important for the hard of hearing,” Ms Jekiel added.

But any kind of return to normal will take time and nothing will change in the immediate future with social distancing and Covid safe procedures continuing for the time being.

The care home was given just 48 hours’ notice that they would be getting the vaccine and that resulted in a lot of work having to be done quickly to confirm resident agreement to be inoculated and gain the consent of relatives where this was needed.

“We have been discussing this with residents and families for some time and so there were no surprises,” Ms Jekiel added.

The decision to start the vaccination programme in care homes is in order to give protection to people who are most vulnerable and at risk if they caught the virus.