A MEMBER of staff at Poole Hospital who has continued to work well into her 70s became the first NHS worker to receive a Covid-19 vaccination at the site this week.

Following months of shielding and being unable to see her family, emergency admissions officer Mary Sainsbury was at the front of the queue for jabs on Monday afternoon.

The Upper Parkstone resident, who celebrates her 78th birthday today, has worked at the hospital for more than 20 years.

She said it was “brilliant” to receive her first jab and she cannot wait to get back to working with her friends when it is safe to do so.

Mary told the Daily Echo: “I got a phone call because I am on the list of people who need to have it pretty quickly.

“I was shocked when I got the call. I thought it would be at least another few weeks.

“I would like the nurses to be done first because they are there right on the front line with the patients and they are going through every minute and every day.”

She added: “They said to turn up at a certain day and at a certain time and they booked my next appointment.

“I turned up on Monday. I was supposed to get there at 3pm and I got there about 10 minutes early.

“They were like ‘are you our first one’ and I was like ‘maybe I am’.”

Discussing missing being able to do her job at the hospital, Mary said: “Even though I am an old bird, I like to use my brain and I still know my job.

“Getting the vaccine is brilliant because I don’t see my family at all and that is really cruel. I just want to get back to work with my mates so I can help out, they are very stressed.”

Mary, who has three daughters and three grandsons, said shielding had been difficult but she fully understood why it was necessary.

Asked what it had been like to see residents across the country showing their support for the NHS, Mary said: “The only way you can really appreciate the NHS is by following the instructions. Some people are not doing that and they are so selfish.

“Just follow the rules, wear a mask and put up with a bit of inconvenience and stop going out being selfish.”