The Speaker
Thursday, 18 April 2024 – 20:21
Photo by Number 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Momentous day as COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins in UK

The UK has begun the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history as the first patients receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Margaret Keenan, who is a grandmother and turns 91 next week, was the first person in the world to be given the vaccine, being given the injection at 06:31 this morning. 

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The momentous day of the vaccine starting to be rolled out, dubbed as V-Day by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, comes just 311 days after the first case of the virus was confirmed in the UK. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thanked NHS staff, scientists and all those involved in the development and distribution of the vaccine.

In a teary interview on Good Morning Britain, Matt Hancock said seeing the vaccine being rolled out made him “so proud to be British”.

The second patient and first man to receive the vaccine was William Shakespeare, an 81-year-old from Warwickshire.

The UK is the first country to start using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after approving it for use last week. Around 800,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be dispensed in the coming weeks, while up to four million more are expected by the end of December.

First to receive the vaccine will be health and care staff and over 80 year-olds.

While it is hoped the rollout of the vaccine will allow a rapid return to something closer to normality in the coming months, people are being warned that the virus is still deadly and that they should continue following Coronavirus restrictions.

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