90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at 6.30 am yesterday.
Last week, the UK was the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. In other words, the first to have a clinically approved vaccine ready for supply. And just this morning, December 8, marked the first time anyone outside of trials received the first dose. (Featured image: @NHSEngland)
An article by NHS England called it ‘the biggest vaccine campaign in NHS history’ and chief executive Sir Simon Stevens shared his praise to all those involved: “Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS has now delivered the first clinically approved COVID-19 vaccination – that is a remarkable achievement.
“A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who has made this a reality – the scientists and doctors who worked tirelessly, and the volunteers who selflessly took part in the trials. They have achieved in months what normally takes years.”
At 6:30 am, Margaret Keenan was given the first dose of the injection at University Hospital in Coventry. The second dose will be needed in three weeks’ time.
Ms. Keenan said of the momentous occasion: “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.”
Margaret, whose 91st birthday is next week, retired just four years ago from her role as a jewellery shop assistant. She’s a loving mother of two and grandmother of four.
So far, the UK has placed orders for 40 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate 20 million people. Some of these will arrive before the end of the year, but most will be rolled out in early 2021.
According to the BBC, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says that he hopes a second vaccine will be approved by UK regulators before Christmas.
The European Union has not approved a vaccine yet but Ms. Keenan’s vaccination was a momentous moment for the world as a whole, not just the UK.