Margaret Keenan from Coventry, turning 91 next week has become the first person in the world to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this morning.
The 90-year-old grandmother received the vaccine from nurse May Parsons at 6.31 am in Coventry on Tuesday as the NHS launched its biggest ever vaccination campaign.
As reported by Telegraph, Mrs Keenan, known to family and friends as Maggie, is a former jewellery shop assistant who retired four years ago. She has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.
“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” she said.
“I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too,” she added.
The NHS has become the first health service in the world to begin rolling out Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Jabs will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs across the country from Tuesday dubbed “V-Day” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
81-year old William Shakespeare, from Warwickshire, became the second patient to receive the vaccine, also at University Hospital in Coventry. Yes, his name will go down in history.
Kate Bingham, the chairman of the government’s vaccine task force, said, “It was a daunting challenge to try to deliver on the goals set by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We did deliver on the goals, which was to protect the UK as soon as possible with vaccines and I’m delighted today is V-Day.”
Sean Marett, the chief commercial officer of BioNTech, the drug makers, said, “We are delighted that the UK is vaccinating their first folks today, we plan to produce up to 1.3 billion doses over the next 12 months or so.” He said the number of doses being rolled out in the UK would be “certainly less than 10 million”, adding, “More than five million.”
87-year-old race relations campaigner Dr Hari Shukla of Indian origin, from Tyne and Wear, will receive the Pfizer jab at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle at 8 am along with his wife Ranjan after getting a call from his doctor last week.
He has a “Local Hero” plaque in his honour on the city’s quayside, said, “I’m so pleased we are hopefully coming towards the end of this pandemic and I am delighted to be doing my bit by having the vaccine. I feel I must do so and do whatever I can to help.”