THE Impartial Reporter had the privilege of speaking to some of the first patients in Fermanagh to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination jab this week.

Pensioners aged 80 and over who are patients of the Maple Health Centre in Lisnaskea began their vaccination period on Tuesday, and were happy to talk to this this newspaper about their experience, and how the process went.

All of those contacted were in fine form when they spoke to The Impartial Reporter.

Eric Cathcart (93), from Carrybridge, was one of the first people in Fermanagh to be vaccinated, and said he had “no trouble at all”.

"I’m feeling fine today; I have none of the after-effects [advised] in the [vaccination] leaflet.

"I didn’t think it was as severe as the flu jab – it was a small prick; it just felt like a hair being pulled out.”

Mr. Cathcart added that it was “better to get it over and done with,” and said he was looking forward to receiving his second jab in a few weeks' time, laughing as he said: “I’m no Spring lamb, you know!”

Magherveeley woman, Alice Carey also said that she “felt great” after receiving her dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination jab.

She said: “I had the injection yesterday and I feel great. The injection wasn’t sore; you wouldn’t have even felt it going in.”

Of her shock at the process being so quick and easy, she added: “I couldn’t believe it, myself.”

She praised the vaccinators and support staff at the Castle Park Centre, and said: “We were all well looked after.”

Robert Carson, from Lisnaskea, also received the jab, and said he felt “great”.

When asked about any side-effects from the vaccine jab that he may have experienced, he said: “There are no after-effects at all, not even in my arm – you wouldn’t know that I had got it at all.”

When asked if he felt drowsy after his jab, Mr. Carson said: “I wasn’t even drowsy yesterday afternoon, and I slept like a tot last night.”

He added: “I’m just glad to get [the vaccine jab]. Some people are refusing it, but I wasn’t going to refuse it. With the way things are [the rising cases of Coronavirus across Northern Ireland], it’s better to have it.”

Cheerful 82-year-old Maurice Cathcart, from Lisnaskea, describing himself as "only a young fella", also said he was feeling "great" after his vaccine.

He said: "I got on the best – I was not one bit worried. I'm glad to get it over and done with!"

Mr. Cathcart, like the others The Impartial Reporter spoke to, said he experienced no side-effects from the vaccination jab, and said: "It felt like a flu jab; there was no pain at all."

He addded: "I would recommend other people to go [for the vaccination]; I don't know why anyone is so scared about getting it done."

He said he is looking forward to his second jab to complete his vaccination and laughed as he said: "I'll be running around like a two-year-old when I get the next one!"

Mr. Cathcart, and all of the other people that this newspaper spoke to, were full of praise for the vaccination team in Lisnaskea.

His words summed up the pensioners' thoughts and thanks for the local vaccination team in Lisnaskea, when he said: "They are all great down there."