90-year-old Margaret Keenan is the first person in the world to get Covid-19 vaccine
First Published Dec 8, 2020, 2:20 PM IST
Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old woman in Britain, has become the first person in the world to receive a clinically authorized, fully-tested Covid-19 vaccine.
The former jewellery shop assistant was administered the vaccine shot at a hospital in Coventry in central England.
Speaking to media persons later, Margaret said: "I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19."
"It is 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 added.
Britain has started rolling out the vaccines from today. On the priority list are front-line staff on the National Health Service and those over the age of 80.
The first 800,000 doses are being admninistered to those over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers.
Reacting to the Margaret being vaccinated, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, "I am feeling quite emotional watching those pictures. There is an enormous amount of work still to do but is really grateful to everybody who has brought us to this moment."
Coronavirus vaccine taskforce chairwoman Kate Bingham told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, "My gut feel is that we will all be going on summer holidays. It is likely that those people most at risk will be vaccinated through to April, and then the JCVI and the Department for Health will then consider how to broaden out the vaccinations to other adults."
The first batch of 800,000 doses, enough to vaccinate 400,000 people, will be shared across the UK's four nations. While most of the dosage will go England and Wales, 65,000 doses have been allocated to Scotland and 25,000 to Northern Ireland.
In England, the vaccine is being distributed through over 50 NHS trusts initially which will be followed by hospitals, large-scale vaccination sites and community-led programmes that will be announced later.
In a Twitter post, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Today the first vaccinations in the UK against COVID-19 begin. 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," Stevens 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," he added.