Matt Hancock Has Celebrated “V Day” After A 90-Year-Old Grandmother Became The First Person In The World To Get The Coronavirus Vaccine
Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first person in the world to receive the coronavirus this morning from nurse May Parsons at University Hospitals Coventry (PA)
Matt Hancock has declared the coronavirus vaccine rollout as “our light at the end of the tunnel” after 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive it this morning.
The health secretary has dubbed today “V Day” and said he was “feeling quite emotional” after seeing pictures of people beginning to get the jab.
He told Sky News: "It has been such a tough year for so many people and finally we have our way through it - our light at the end of the tunnel as so many people are saying.
"And just watching Margaret there - it seems so simple having a jab in your arm, but that will protect Margaret and it will protect the people around her.
"And if we manage to do that in what is going to be one of the biggest programmes in NHS history, if we manage to do that for everybody who is vulnerable to this disease, then we can move on."
Ms Keenan, a former jewellery shop assistant who retired four years ago, received the jab at 6.31am from nurse May Parsons at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.
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.
"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.”
Boris Johnson offered his thanks to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers - and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others”.
The Prime Minister added: “We will beat this together.”
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Got a bit of a lump in the throat watching this. Feels like such a milestone moment after a tough year for everyone."
And NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said that delivering a clinically approved Covid-19 vaccination less than a year after the first case of the disease was diagnosed “is a remarkable achievement”.
But Mr Hancock also urged people to continue to obey the coronavirus restrictions until “enough people who are vulnerable to Covid-19 have been vaccinated”.
"It's very important for everyone watching that whilst we vaccinate people - and we will do that at the pace at which the manufacturers can produce the vaccine - whilst we vaccinate people and whilst we get the second dose in, we've got to hold our nerve, we've got to stick together and we've got to follow the rules,” he told Sky News.
"It is no good everybody relaxing now - we've got to hold firm until the vaccination programme has reached enough vulnerable people so that we don't have people dying from coronavirus in the number that we do today."