The first round of vaccines in the battle against coronavirus have begun to be distributed in the United Kingdom with the elderly, as well as NHS staff and care home workers being the first to receive the jab.
The UK is the first country in the world to administer the Pfizer vaccine which has been developed in Europe. It is a landmark moment for not just the UK but the entire world as humanity begins to finally fight back against the deadly virus which has derailed normal life for everyone around the globe.
The first person to receive the jab outside of clinical trials was 90-year-old grandmother, Margaret Keenan from Coventry who given the vaccince at 6:31 am on Tuesday morning at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
After receiving the vaccine, Keenan, who turns 91 next week, called the jab ‘the best early birthday present.’ She was quoted as saying: “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.”
She continued by thanking May Parsons, the nurse who gave her the jab and the other NHS staff. “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.”
Parsons later spoke to Good Morning Britain where she expressed how proud she was to be part of this historic moment. “Well, it’s all positive for me. I think it’s a tremendous historical event. Everyone knows what the cost of the pandemic has been and that we’ve been able to offer the first vaccine today, is a positive historical event. I’m so proud to be able to contribute to that and take a positive step towards stopping this pandemic.”
Parsons who has worked as a nurse for 24 years and in that particular hospital for 17 years added, “I’ve had a lot of experience in terms of injections, IM’s and flu jabs, so I’ve had a lot of practice, so it’s just stepping back and making sure I follow the policy, doing everything to make the patient feel comfortable and that’s it really. I think it’s the afterward that is a bit overwhelming.”
The Filipino native, who came to the UK from The Philipines 17 years ago then paid tribute to her fellow Filipino nurses, of whom make up a large portion of staff in the NHS. “I’m really glad to be telling up the Filipinos in this country and everywhere in the world that we can make a difference and make positive contributions to humanity. I think it’s a historical event for Filipinos all across the globe and making sure we are proud of what we have achieved and what we can contribute to everyone and the care we give. I’m very proud to say to everyone that I am a Filipino-British today making history.”
Needless to say, people were very proud of Parsons and for her celebrating her background on national television.
The vaccine has reportedly been sent to 50 hospitals across Britain and Northern Ireland and many have already received the vaccine. The second person after Keenan was a man who had the name of none other than William Shakespeare.
That being said, this won’t mark an immediate return to normalcy for many of us as health secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that safety measures will remain in place throughout the winter months but that life may be back to normal come spring time.