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105-Year-Old Gets Vaccinated

By Barbara A. Preston l March 30, 2021

Marie Murtagh survived the Spanish Flu in 1918, and now she is going to beat COVID-19.

The 105-year-old Hopewell woman received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine during a clinic jointly sponsored by the Montgomery and Hopewell health departments in Pennington on March 22.

105-year-old gets COVID Vax Montgomery Health Department Nurse Katie Williams administers the vaccine to Marie Murtagh of Hopewell.

Murtagh, who will be 106 on July 1, was born in 1915. She was so sick with the Spanish Flu when she was three years of age that she was bedridden and needed to learn how to walk again, according to her daughter, Noreen Potenza.

“My mother wasn’t worried about COVID because she had survived Spanish Flu,” Potenza said during a telephone interview. “She really hasn’t been sick since then. She’s very healthy now, has a great sense of humor, and her senses are fully intact.” Potenza said she wanted her mother vaccinated so people could visit the home they share.

Montgomery Public Health Nurse Katie Williams says Murtagh is “the oldest person I’ve vaccinated.” The vaccine “has a really good track record,” she added.

The J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3 percent effective in clinical trials. It has a high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick.

Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie Carey said her office is focused on getting the vaccine to “our most vulnerable seniors.” “It is heartwarming to see their excitement about being able to hug their grandchildren again,” she added.


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