randmother Margaret Keenan made historical past at the moment as the primary particular person to obtain the Pfizer Covid-19 jab — sending a beacon of hope world wide that the virus nightmare will finish subsequent 12 months.
At 6.31am on “V-Day”, the quietly-spoken 90-year-old sat again in a chair at College Hospital Coventry and provided her left arm to nurse Might Parsons to manage the primary dose of the game-changing jab.
Sporting a blue Merry Christmas high, she hailed the vaccine because the “neatest thing that’s ever occurred” and informed of her pleasure that months and months of close to isolation had been coming to an finish.
“I can lastly sit up for spending time with household and associates within the New 12 months after being by myself for many of the 12 months,” she mentioned.
Often known as Maggie, the previous jewelry store assistant who retired 4 years in the past, might be 91 on Tuesday. When well being employees provided her the jab, she mentioned she “thought it was a joke to begin with”.
“Hopefully it’ll assist different individuals come alongside and do what I did, and try to do the very best to eliminate this horrible factor,” she defined earlier than being clapped by well being staff as she left the vaccination centre.
“My recommendation to anybody provided the vaccine is to take it — if I can have it at 90, then you may have it too.”
To these having second ideas about getting vaccinated, she added: “I say go for it, as a result of it’s free and it’s the very best factor that’s ever occurred.”
Because the epic day within the battle towards Covid-19 began to unfold, the second particular person to have the injection was 81-year-old William “Invoice” Shakespeare, an in-patient on the Coventry hospital’s frailty wards who, appropriately, is native to his namesake’s county of beginning, Warwickshire.
With sufferers being vaccinated in 70 hospitals throughout the nation after the UK’s medicines regulator turned the primary on the earth to approve the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine:
- Boris Johnson spoke to Lyn Wheeler, 81, who was the primary to obtain the jab at Man’s Hospital in London. “It’s actually very shifting to listen to her say she is doing it for Britain — she is defending herself but additionally serving to to guard your complete nation,” he mentioned. Nonetheless, he warned the nation: “We are able to’t afford to chill out now,” stating that circumstances had been rising in some areas together with London and that tens of 1000’s of “secret spreaders” with no signs had been infecting others.
- Matt Hancock, who broke down in tears as he was overwhelmed by V-Day, mentioned a number of million individuals can be vaccinated by Christmas, with BioNTech saying greater than 5 million doses can be delivered this month. The following batch is due subsequent week. The Well being Secretary added: “I’ve nice hopes for summer time 2021 and I hope we will elevate the restrictions from the spring.”
- Coronavirus vaccine taskforce chairwoman Kate Bingham informed BBC Radio 4’s At present programme: “My intestine feeling is that we’ll all be happening summer time holidays… I believe by the summer time we must be in a significantly better place to get on planes.”
- Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, mentioned the goal was to get the vaccine into care houses earlier than Christmas. Hailing “a turning level” , he mentioned: “This actually appears like the start of the top.”
Ministers are hopeful a second vaccine, developed by Oxford College and AstraZeneca, will get the go-ahead inside weeks.
Greater than 77,500 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred within the UK, new figures present.
Tharmini Gopalakrishnan, 60, who works in a dementia care residence in Chessington, was the primary to obtain the vaccine at St George’s Hospital, in Tooting. She was vaccinated at 8.20am. Hospital employees had known as her yesterday to supply a slot.
She informed the Normal: “I’m feeling good. I’m most grateful and I assumed I should have it. This might be very useful and you may work fearlessly and you’ll really feel you aren’t carrying something to the purchasers. We wish to defend them.”
Arezou Rezvani, a marketing consultant midwife and registered nurse at St George’s who volunteered to assist administer the jabs, vaccinated Ms Gopalakrishnan.
She mentioned: “I’m main on the vaccine programme at St George’s. I used to be the primary to provide one. It was fairly emotional, truly. I had tears in my eyes, which was fairly shocking — I certified as a nurse within the Nineties and I’ve been giving jabs for years. The woman noticed my title badge and mentioned ‘you’re a midwife. I had my child right here years in the past and I needed to return to St George’s and provides one thing to St George’s.”