London: Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from Britain, became Tuesday the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Yes, the vaccine has been tested on human beings during the various stages of human trials. Margaret Keenan is the first person to receive it as a protective measure against COVID-19.
Keenan is an an early riser. She received the jab at her local hospital in Coventry, central England. It was approximately 6.31 GMT Tuesday when she received the first injection. It will be followed by another jab 21 days later. Keenan got the vaccine exactly a week before she turns 91.
Britain began rolling out Tuesday the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, It thus became the Western country to start vaccinating its general population in what was hailed as a decisive watershed in defeating the coronavirus.
The mass inoculation will fuel hope that the world may be turning a corner in the fight against the pandemic COVID-19. The disease has killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide and has destroyed the economies of many countries.
“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Keenan. “It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for. It means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year. I have almost on my own for most of 20202,” she added.
Among other recipients of the vaccine were Hari Shukla, a retired teacher of Indian origin and his wife Ranjan. Shukla 87, and Ranjan, 83 received the first of the two-dose vaccine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Shukla incidentally is also a race relations campaigner in north England. He and his wife are among the over-80-year-olds prioritised to receive the first of the 800,000 doses in 50 hospitals across the UK. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 21 days apart.
“I am delighted to be doing my bit by having the vaccine, I feel it is my duty to do so and do whatever I can to help. I feel very comfortable and happy to be among the first people to receive the vaccine,” Shukla said.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine and is expected to receive four million more by the end of this month. The UK regulator is also evaluating the clinical data of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine candidates.