90-year-old Irish granny from Fermanagh becomes first person in world to receive Covid-19 vaccine
"If I can have it at 90, you can have it too"
Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old woman from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, has become the first person in the world to receive a fully tested and approved Covid-19 vaccine, at her local hospital in Coventry.
The woman, a former jeweller who turns 91 next week and only retired four years ago, will receive a second jab of the vaccine in 21 days to ensure protection from the virus.
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!”
Keenan's vaccine was administered by May Parsons, a Filipino nurse who has worked in the NHS for 24 years.
She said: “It’s a huge honour to be the first person in the country to deliver a COVID-19 jab to a patient, I’m just glad that I’m able to play a part in this historic day.
'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!' pic.twitter.com/mlIwvp6g0f
— NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) December 8, 2020
The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK begins with older adults in care homes and their carers, followed by all those over 80 years of age, and frontline and social care workers.
It will also see patients aged 80 and over who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged after a stay in hospital, among the first to receive the vaccine.
Additionally, the rollout of the vaccine has also begun in Northern Ireland, with Sister Joanna Sloan receiving the jab shortly after 8am this morning at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Sister Sloan, from Dundrum in County Down, will be managing the vaccination centre for the Belfast Trust.