91-year-old Margaret Keenan has just become the first person to receive both doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.
In early December, 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, at 6:30am on December 8, Margaret Keenan was given the first dose of the injection at University Hospital in Coventry, marking the first time anyone outside of trials received the first dose. Today (December 29), she received the second dose of the vaccine, making her the first person in the UK to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Featured image: @NHSEngland)
Speaking on December 8, 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 retired just four years ago from her role as a jewellery shop assistant. She’s a loving mother of two and grandmother of four, and now a history-maker.
To ensure maximum efficacy for the Pfizer jab, a second dose is required three weeks after the initial vaccination, which greatly boosts its effectiveness against coronavirus. Margaret, who was the first of 616,933 people in the UK to receive their jab before December 20, was first in line for the second dose.
This month’s vaccinations have kicked off ‘the biggest vaccine campaign in NHS history‘, and NHS 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.”
So far, the UK has placed orders for 40 million doses of the Pfizer jab, 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. A second vaccine – from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca clinical trials – is expected to win approval from UK regulators any day now.
Also published on Medium.