Margaret Keenan, a British woman who will turn 91 years old next week, is the first woman to receive a vaccine against coronavirus, according to ABC News.
What are the details?
Keenan, a retired shop clerk, received the country’s first shot from its vaccination program.
Keenan was the first person in line at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire in Coventry, England, the outlet reported, which is one of the hospitals across the region that is handling the country’s initial phase of the vaccination program.
“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19,” Keenan said. “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.”
May Parsons, the nurse who administered Keenan’s shot, said of the vaccine, “I’m just glad to be able to play a part on 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 a light at the end of the tunnel.”
ABC News reported, “The U.K. is the first Western country to start a mass vaccination program after British regulators last week authorized the use of a COVID-19 shot developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.”
“Britain has received 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 400,000 people,” ABC notes. “The first shots will go to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers and vaccination staff.”
Most other people will likely have to wait until 2021 before receiving a vaccination.
According to ABC, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that the vaccination program is likely to take “many months” to roll out.
“We still have a long road ahead of us, but this marks the route out,” Hancock said.
National Health Service Medical Director Stephen Powis said that the first shot was an “emotional” moment.
“This really feels like the beginning of the end,” he said. “It’s been [a] really dreadful year, 2020 — all those things that we are so used to, meeting friends and family, going to the cinema, have been disrupted. We can get those back. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. But in the months to come.”
Author: Sarah Taylor