Son's relief after mum is one of the first in Wales to receive Oxford coronavirus vaccine

Mary was one of the first people in Wales to receive the Oxford-AstroZeneca vaccine Credit: Rick Matthews

The son of an 86-year-old care home resident has spoken of his massive relief after his mother was one of the first people in Wales to receive the Oxford-AstroZeneca vaccine against coronavirus.

Mary Willis, who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, was vaccinated on Wednesday morning alongside 47 other residents of Crosfield House in Powys.

Mary was vaccinated alongside 47 other residents at Crosfield House in Powys Credit: Rick Matthews

Her son Matthew, who works as an NHS manager, said: ''My mum went into Crosfield after a fall and the care home have been brilliant.

''She's almost back to her old self and we're just so relieved she's been vaccinated.

''She's been very keen to have the vaccine and is a firm believer in its benefits and hopefully it will provide some protection for everyone from this deadly virus''

Since her fall, Mary hasn't been able to be measured for a wheelchair or have tests on her hearing or eyesight but Matthew is hopeful that the vaccine seen will allow this to happen.

''It also means that we can maybe look forward now to her being able to come out for the day and hopefully next December we'll all be able to sit round the table to a Christmas dinner,'' Matthew said.

''That's down to the vaccine and I'm absolutely delighted that my mum has received it this week and I very much hope and believe it will allow us to get back to something like normal.

''It's will be nice to plan ahead for the future and the vaccine is key to that - it gives us all something to look forward to.''

District Nurse Caroline Raftree takes delivery of the vaccine from health courier David Adams Credit: Rick Matthews

The vaccine was administered by a team of six nurses from Powys Teaching Health Board which Crosfield House manager, Wayne Rees, described as a ''glimmer of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.''

He said: ''Our staff here have been fantastic because it isn't easy coming in to work every day to do a 12-hour shift in full PPE. It's very pressurised.

''We've all got lives outside work, but they have been abiding by the rules and that's what is helping get us through this difficult time.

''These last 12 months have been very challenging. It's taught me a lot and it's taught the staff a lot and I really can't praise them highly enough. They've all really pulled together.''

Mary with Crosfield manager manager Wayne Rees and district nurse Caroline Raftree Credit: Rick Matthews

Staff at the home were given the Pfizer vaccine in December and was one of only eight in Wales involved in the Lateral Flow Testing programme designed to identify symptom-free carriers of the virus.

Mary Wimbury, Chief Executive of Care Forum Wales, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers, welcomed the roll-out of the vaccination to the sector.

She said: “Our care home residents and the people who look after them are right in the firing line especially with a new, rampant form of the virus on the loose.

“We’re in a race against time and it’s vital we protect these most vulnerable people and I welcome the fact that this vaccine roll-out is happening quickly because we are facing a health catastrophe.

“The pressure is on and many care homes throughout Wales are at crisis point so now we have the vaccine it is critical that we get it out to those who need it most.”