First Patient Receives Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in UK

The 90-year-old woman stated it was "a privilege" and "the best early birthday present" she could wish for.
Derya Ozdemir

The fight against COVID-19 has seen a landmark moment which many will follow: The Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine has been given to someone outside a clinical trial in a first, making the United Kingdom the first Western nation to begin vaccinating its citizens.

90-year-old Margaret Keenan was given the jab at 06:31 GMT, officially making her the first patient of the 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be administered in the following weeks.

Another jab in 21 days

Mrs. Keenan has received the first of two doses at University Hospital in Coventry, stating being the first person to experience such a moment was "a privilege" and "the best early birthday present I could wish for."

She 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," BBC reports. 

To make sure she has the best chance of being protected against the virus, Mrs. Keenan will receive a booster jab in 21 days. She says, "My advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it - if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too!"

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The second injection was administered to an 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare. He reportedly hails from Warwickshire, which is the county where the world-famous bard was born.

The news has come less than a week after the U.K. became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine. It was previously reported that the U.K. has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine. 800,000 shots will be administered in the following weeks at first, with those over-80s and some health and care staff being the first to be vaccinated. 

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