The Air Corps pilots landed their helicopter on the tiny Irish island of Arranmore just before lunch on Thursday and handed over their precious cargo of COVID-19 vaccines to Dr. Kevin Quinn and his grinning daughter Aoife.
The arrival of first batch of shots last month was a “joyous occasion”, Quinn said. Thursday’s delivery of second doses was even more momentous – he reckons he will now be able to fully vaccinate around half the population in the next few days.
With fewer than 500 residents, the remote island off the northwestern tip of Ireland is one of the hardest places to reach in a vaccination programme that, like in the rest of the European Union, has been hampered by supply problems.
The two Air Corps pilots took one hour and 40 minutes to fly in from the Casement Aerodrome military air base on the outskirts of Dublin. Aoife, who works as a nurse on Arranmore, helped her father and the crew carry the frozen boxes of Moderna shots to his car, parked down a lane.