A 90-year-old grandmother who became the first person in the world to have the Pfizer vaccine as part of the mass vaccination rollout has been discharged from hospital after a “whirlwind” day.
The face of Margaret Keenan – known as Maggie – has been making news around the world after she was given the coronavirus jab at University Hospital Coventry on Tuesday.
Mrs Keenan, who has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years but is originally from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, had been admitted to the hospital a few days before her jab.
She was discharged at 2pm on Wednesday, leaving hospital with her grandson Conor and daughter Sue.
In a statement released through NHS England, Mrs Keenan said: “Yesterday was a massive day for me personally and for the rest of the world as we all look to get back to some sort of normality.
“It has all been such a whirlwind and everything hasn’t really sunk in yet. I feel great and I’m so pleased to be able to go home and to spend some quality time with my family.
“I would like to say thank you to the hospital and its staff for the care and support shown to me during my stay – they have been truly amazing.
“My family and I are so grateful for the positive comments and well wishes received. I would urge everybody to get their vaccine as and when they are asked to do so.”
Speaking immediately after receiving the vaccine, administered by matron May Parsons, the retired jewellery store assistant told of the “great opportunity” of being offered the jab.
She said: “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.”
Mrs Keenan, who marks her 91st birthday next week, was one of about 100 people vaccinated on the first day of the rollout at Coventry.
The second person to have the injection was 81-year-old William “Bill” Shakespeare, an in-patient on the hospital’s frailty wards from Coventry who, appropriately, is local to his namesake’s county of birth Warwickshire.
Professor Andy Hardy, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust chief executive, said: “We were delighted to have the first patient in the world to have the Covid vaccine and it is thanks to our incredible NHS staff that we were able and ready to start vaccinating people, like Maggie, yesterday.
“It is great news that Maggie is well enough to go home – she is really looking forward to spending time with her family.”
He added: “This is the first step in the largest vaccination programme the country has ever faced and it will take months to complete – we will contact people as and when they can be vaccinated but in the meantime we want to encourage members of the public to continue following the guidance in place to help keep everybody safe.”