A concerned Walsall mum has urged people to continue to take up the COVID-19 vaccine after one of her baby twins caught the virus.
Sophie Keen, 19, says son Ronnie, who was born premature at Walsall Manor Hospital on 20 December at 28 weeks, is currently on the Neonatal Unit (NNU).
Ronnie was admitted to hospital in Coventry on March 19 to have eye laser surgery to save his sight because his retina was rolling into the back of his eye. He tested positive there on the same day as his operation.
Five days later, he was transferred back to the Manor, but his symptoms persist. He has a hacking cough, hasn’t been drinking as much milk and his breathing has been shorter.
Reggie – who is Ronnie’s older twin by two minutes – is also on the Neonatal Unit because he had fluid on the brain, but following a CT scan, neurologists say he doesn’t need surgery. And on Monday 28 March he was allowed home for the first time since he was born.
Sophie says she is happy every precaution is being taken at the Manor to prevent the spread of the virus, and is relieved she has had both doses of the vaccine plus her booster so she can visit her twins every day.
The following video has been filmed of Sophie urging people to have the vaccine: https://youtu.be/vqYFv5D2Z3Y
“People should get the vaccine because they are not only helping to protect themselves, but everyone else they come into contact with,” said Sophie, who lives in Walsall with partner Kieran and 18-month-old daughter Atlanta.
“It’s very important to have the vaccine because babies like Ronnie can get COVID-19 and it makes them really ill, bearing in mind they have already been on Neonatal.
“Get your family and friends to have all three vaccines as well because the more vaccinated everyone is, the safer you are.
“Getting my jabs and my booster was the best thing I did because if I’d got COVID, Ronnie could have been on a ventilator and it could have been worse. If I’d have caught it, I wouldn’t have been able to see the twins.”
Need to book your vaccination? Walsall’s Saddlers Vaccination Centre has now relocated – with first, second and booster COVID-19 jabs being offered in a purpose-built clinical centre in the town.
The service is being provided from the former Walsall Urgent Care Centre in the Saddlers Shopping Centre in Bridgeman Street. Appointments, made via the National Booking System, will be available between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week.