Pfizer coronavirus vaccine: 90-year-old British woman becomes first in the world to receive Covid-19 jab

A grandmother has become the first person in the world to receive Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine as the NHS embarks on a mass vaccination programme.

Margaret Keenan, 90, received the jab at 6.31am in Coventry on Tuesday, marking the start of a phased rollout of the vaccine to older people, NHS staff and care home workers.

Jabs will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs across the country from Tuesday – dubbed “V-Day” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

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Mrs Keenan, known to family and friends as Maggie, received the jab from nurse May Parsons at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Mrs Keenan, who turns 91 next week, is a former jewellery shop assistant who retired four years ago.

She has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren, including BBC News Health Editor, Hugh Pym.

Mrs Keenan 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.

“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.”

Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry, administered by nurse May Parsons, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history.
Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry, administered by nurse May Parsons, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history.

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.”

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.

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

NHS nurse Mrs Parsons said it was a “huge honour” to be the first in the country to deliver the vaccine to a patient.

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.”

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