Inspirational 90-Year-Old UK Woman Makes History

Margaret Keenan received the first Pfizer jab.

Dec 10, 2020
Inspirational 90-Year-Old UK Woman Makes History | Margaret Keenan received the first Pfizer jab.

Margaret Keenan, 90, didn’t know that she was going to make history when she went to  Coventry’s University Hospital early in the morning on Tuesday December 8, 2020. That’s when she received the first shot – or jab as they say in the UK – of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

The National Health Service (NHS) had just begun its roll-out of the vaccine after it was approved for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority the week before according to The Guardian. And this grandmother of four, who will turn 91 in January, received the first injection from nurse May Parsons at 6:31 am.

“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,” Keenan told The Guardian.

Keenan originally from  Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, has lived in Coventry, England for the past 60 years. “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,” she said.

This is just the beginning of the massive vaccination project that will be administered by 70 hospitals around the UK. Patients aged 80 and over who are hospital outpatients or being discharged after being hospitalized are the first to receive the vaccination. Next will be residents of nursing homes and frontline healthcare workers. This is the largest vaccination program the NHS has ever undertaken.

The health secretary Matt Hancock said that these are just the first and the UK expects to have 800,000 doses available next week. The UK is expected to receive 40 million doses in batches. This rollout was, “The start of the fightback against our common enemy coronavirus.

“Help is on its way and the end is in sight – not just of this terrible pandemic but of the onerous restrictions that have made this year so hard for so many, ” he said; “even while we can now see the route out, there is still a long march ahead. People should still follow social distancing and infection control rules until the vaccine delivery program is over. Let’s not blow it now.”

While the UK was the first to authorize the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine, Bahrain was the second and Canada followed suit on December 9, 2020 when Health Canada approved its use, according to CBC Canada News after a two-month review of the clinical trial data.

The US Food and Drug Administrationsapproved the emergency use of the vaccine on December 11, 2020 for people 16 and older and distribution will begin in the coming days accordint to the company.The FDA advisory panel will meet again on December 17 about the Moderna vaccine that also requires two injections but can be stored at less extreme temperatures.

Pfizer and BioNTech have the combined capacity to supply 50 Million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 Billion doses globally by the end of 2021. The combined amounts of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and other companies who have completed Phase III vaccine trials, will help the world begin to heal from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.