A GRAN has died just days after receiving her coronavirus jab – as the "vaccine had yet to take effect".
Mary Green, 92, was given her first dose of the Covid vaccine on New Year’s Eve, but tested positive for the virus just five days later.
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The great-grandmother's family said it’s not clear when she contracted the virus at the care home in North Tyneside.
Vaccines don’t take immediate effect and two doses are needed for patients to have the highest levels of protection, experts say.
Her son Chris Green told ChronicleLive that knowing she had come so close to being protected from the virus was a "devastating blow" to the family.
Mary also suffered from dementia and, as her condition worsened, Chris was told she was too frail to undergo surgery.
Experts also said she would find the hospital environment too confusing and on January 17 Mary died of sepsis.
Chris said Mary’s doctor had informed him that this could have been caused by the coronavirus infection.
He added that the pressures of the pandemic have had an impact on how the elderly are cared for and questioned whether doctors are holding off sending vulnerable patients to hospital.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week warned that infections were at high levels across the country and said this was having a knock on effect across the NHS.
It was also previously revealed that patients from London were being sent to the North East and other areas of the country due to capacity constraints.
Government data shows that at present there are 37,899 patients in hospital across the UK with the coronavirus.
In the North East and Yorkshire there are currently 3,732 patients in hospital with Covid.
In the hospital closest to Mary’s care home, Northumbria NHS Health Care Trust, there are currently 163 patients in hospital.
Chris said that doctors are doing a “fantastic job”.
Speaking to ChronicleLive he said: "My worry is that doctors are really under the cosh, I'm not criticising them because they are doing a fantastic job, but the last thing they need is a 92-year-old woman who might not pull through to add to that, but it's such a shame, because it feels like she didn't have a chance.
"She was a casualty of what we're going through at the moment with Covid. The care she needed in her final days wasn't in a care home setting, it was in a hospital setting, and she couldn't have that."
The 52-year-old said a number of residents at the Charlton Court care home tested positive in January – along with a number of staff members.
The family said the home had only had a few Covid cases since March.
A family member who didn’t want to be named added that once the vaccine came in – so did the virus.
“She's either had it just before or it's happened just after she had the vaccine and it hasn't started work in.”
STAY AT HOME
They questioned whether the home had “let their guard down” after residents received the vaccine.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam previously warned that vaccines wouldn't be a "magic bullet" in fighting the virus.
At the weekend he said: "Through the vaccination programme, millions of the most vulnerable to Covid-19 are being given significant protection from this virus – a fantastic achievement.
“However, regardless of whether someone has had their vaccination or not, it is vital that everyone follows the national restrictions and public health advice, as protection takes up to 3 weeks to kick in and we don’t yet know the impact of vaccines on transmission."
The family hadn’t been inside the home since March and had hoped to visit on January 2.
With new lockdown measures in place the visit was cancelled.
In a statement the care home said there was “nothing more important to them than the health and well being of residents”.
The statement read: "Our staff started to receive their Covid vaccinations from mid-December and we were delighted when our residents began to receive their Covid vaccinations later in December 2020 as part of the first roll out of the vaccination to homes in North Tyneside.
"Our staff team continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 preventative measures, including the use of PPE and regular testing in line with government guidelines, as they have done since the outbreak of the pandemic. We are grateful to our staff team who continue to care for all of our residents at this time."
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