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British Grandma Is first In The World To Get Pfizer Vaccine Outside Trial

Date Added: December 08, 2020 06:50:33 PM
Author: Sutra Web Directory
Category: News & References: Breaking News

A 90-YEAR-old gran is the first Brit to be given the new coronavirus vaccine today in a historic moment in the fight against the virus.

Margaret Keenan - known as Maggie to friends and family - celebrated with a cup of tea after being given the life-saving Covid jab at 6.31am at her local hospital in Coventry, West Mids

She is among hundreds of OAPs and NHS staff to receive the vaccine on what is being dubbed V-Day after the UK became the first country in the world to start using the Pfizer vaccine after regulators approved its use last week.

Maggie, who turns 91 next week, said: "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.”

Mrs Keenan, a former jewellery shop assistant who only retired four years ago, was given the jab by NHS nurse May Parsons.

The gran-of-four 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: "I don't mind the attention, it doesn't bother me. I'm just happy to have it done.

"This is a terrible disease so we do want rid of it, so anything that helps is a bonus, isn't it?"

The second person to have the injection was 81-year-old William "Bill" Shakespeare, an in-patient on the hospital's frailty wards from Coventry who, appropriately, is local to his namesake's county of birth, Warwickshire.

He said he was "pleased" to be given the jab, adding: "I need to say, the staff at this hospital are wonderful."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the start of the roll out of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine meant there was "finally" a "way through" the coronavirus crisis.

He told Sky News: "I'm feeling quite emotional actually watching those pictures.

"It has been such a tough year for so many people and finally we have our way through it - our light at the end of the tunnel as so many people are saying.

"And just watching Margaret there - it seems so simple having a jab in your arm, but that will protect Margaret and it will protect the people around her.

"And if we manage to do that in what is going to be one of the biggest programmes in NHS history, if we manage to do that for everybody who is vulnerable to this disease then we can move on."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised everyone involved in the vaccine's development, tweeting: "Thank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers - and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others. We will beat this together."

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens praised all those involved in delivering the new vaccine programme.

"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," Sir Simon said.

"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.

"My colleagues across the health service are rightly proud of this historic moment as we lead in deploying the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.

"I also want to thank Margaret, our first patient to receive the vaccine on the NHS.

"Today is just the first step in the largest vaccination programme this country has ever seen.

"It will take some months to complete the work as more vaccine supplies become available and until then we must not drop our guard.

"But if we all stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead, we will be able to look back at this as a decisive turning point in the battle against the virus."

Like many around the country, Mrs Keenan has been self-isolating for most of this year and is planning on having a very small family "bubble" Christmas to keep safe.

Originally from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, she has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years and has a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

She will receive a booster jab in 21 days to ensure she has the best chance of being protected against the virus.


NHS nurse May Parsons said it was a "huge honour" to be the first in the country to deliver the vaccine to a patient.

Speaking at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, she said: "It's a huge honour to be the first person in the country to deliver a Covid-19 jab to a patient, I'm just glad that I'm able to play a part in this historic day.

"The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS, but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Mrs Parsons, originally from the Philippines, has worked in the NHS for the last 24 years and been at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire since 2003.

NHS England's national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said Tuesday's vaccinations mark "the beginning of the end" of the pandemic.

"This is a turning point in this pandemic," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"This is the way out of it, the beginning of the end.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow, it's not going to happen next week or next month.

"We still need to socially distance, we need to follow all those restrictions in place.

"But in 2021 vaccination programmes will mean we can get back to normality."


Dr Hari Shukla, 87, was the first person in Newcastle to get the jab along with wife Ranjan, 84, and told The Sun: "I'm proud to do my duty."

The dad of four and grandfather of nine, who was invited by his GP on Friday, said: “I was very excited I got the opportunity of joining in and taking part, so we are very, very pleased and happy and excited as well.

“I am delighted to be doing my bit by having the vaccine, I feel it is my duty to do so and do whatever I can.”

Dr Shukla, from Tyne and Wear, went on: “This has been a ­terrible year but I always had faith in our doctors and scientists.

“They are true heroes. I knew they would come to our rescue and I am just honoured to be among the first to benefit from their amazing work.”

One of the first people to be vaccinated told Prime Minister Boris Johnson it was "all for Britain".

Lyn Wheeler, 81, from Bromley, was the first to receive the Pfizer jab at Guy's Hospital in London on Tuesday morning.

She was given the vaccine in front of Mr Johnson, and when he asked her how it had been she said: "It's all for Britain."

Mrs Wheeler was given a round of applause after receiving the vaccination.

Speaking at the vaccination centre at Guy's Hospital in London, Mr Johnson said people should not be afraid of getting vaccinated.

"To all those who are scared (of getting vaccinated) - don't be," he said.

"You have seen Lyn take it, you have seen people take the vaccine this morning in large numbers. There's nothing to be nervous about."

He added: "What I would say is that there are those obviously who feel that a vaccine is something they object to politically or for ideological reasons.

"I think they are totally wrong. It's safe, it's the right thing to do, it's good for you and it's good for the whole country.

"It's going to take a while. I urge people to contain their impatience."
~ Via The Sun