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Tuesday, 2nd March 2021

Relieved Bertie (97) finally gets the jab

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A big smile from Bertie Chase as Dr. Conor MacMahon gives him his first coronavirus vaccination this morning. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Ninety seven year-old Drogheda man Albert “Bertie” Chase was disappointed last week when the appointment to get his coronavirus jab was cancelled because the vaccine hadn’t arrived. That was finally put to rights this morning.

Bertie celebrated his 97th birthday on Sunday last but, because he was a leap year baby, born on February 29th 1924, although he is 97 years old, Bertie has only ever had 24 birthdays.

Judging by the twinkle in his eyes though, you can tell that in his day Bertie was a man that enjoyed a party.

That twinkle was evident this morning when he was the centre of attention as he received his first coronavirus jab at the Number 47 Medical practice in Fair Street.

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The doctor’s surgery was in celebratory mood also because the vaccination doses, which were due last week but failed to show, were safely in the fridge and ready to be dispensed to the patients.

Bertie is the type of person who lights up a room when he walks in and today was no different. His eyes lit up even brighter when he saw the balloons at the surgery entrance.

Bertie was greeted at the surgery door and ushered straight in to see Doctor Conor MacMahon who had little trouble putting his very willing patient at ease.

Within a minute or two the vaccination procedure was over and Bertie was invited to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes in case there were any side effects. 

You got the feeling that Bertie, who was accompanied by his daughter Suzanne, would have liked to have stayed longer to chat with the doctor but, today of all days, there was no time for chat. Judging by the number of staff on duty it was obvious they were in for a busy day.

Here's a video of Bertie's appearance on Virgin Media News last week:

Bertie was born and raised in Drogheda and worked all his life in the Oil and Cake Mills on the Marsh Road where he was a transport manager looking after the despatch side of the business.

His darling wife Anne passed in 2013 and now he lives at St. Peter’s Place.

Bertie has lived a long time but he told Drogheda Life that in all his years he had never before seen times quite like the ones we are experiencing today.

Ever looking forward though, Bertie asked one of the staff at the surgery when he would be getting the next dose of the vaccine.

He said he wanted to get out and about again as, apart from one dinner outing with Suzanne, he had been cooped up in the house for a full year.

Bertie and his daughter Suzanne were delighted with the welcome they received at Number 47 Medical Practice this morning.

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