UK begins mass coronavirus vaccination rollout as 90-year-old gets jab

A grandmother has become the first person in the world to receive Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine as the NHS embarks on a mass vaccination programme.

Margaret Keenan, 90, received the jab at 6.31am in Coventry on Tuesday, marking the start of a phased rollout of the vaccine to older people, NHS staff and care home workers.

Jabs will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs across the country from Tuesday – dubbed "V-Day" by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

25 PHOTOS
First Britons get Covid vaccine on 'V-day'
See Gallery
First Britons get Covid vaccine on 'V-day'
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, is applauded by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, is applauded by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
Margaret Keenan, 90, speaks to the media at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 after becoming the first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the country's biggest ever immunisation programme. - Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country's history with a new Covid-19 jab. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jacob King has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Pictures were taken on [December 8, 2020] instead of [December 9, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Margaret Keenan, 90, speaks to the media at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 after becoming the first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the country's biggest ever immunisation programme. - Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country's history with a new Covid-19 jab. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jacob King has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Pictures were taken on [December 8, 2020] instead of [December 9, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nurse May Parsons (R) administers the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine to Margaret Keenan (L), 90, at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 making Keenan the first person to receive the vaccine in the country's biggest ever immunisation programme. - Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country's history with a new Covid-19 jab. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jacob King has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Pictures were taken on [December 8, 2020] instead of [December 9, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nurse May Parsons (R) prepares Margaret Keenan (L), 90, to be the first person to recieve the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 as Britain starts its biggest ever immunisation programme. - Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country's history with a new Covid-19 jab. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jacob King has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Pictures were taken on [December 8, 2020] instead of [December 9, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Nurse May Parsons (L) walks with Margaret Keenan (C), 90, at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, on December 8, 2020 as Keenan is prepared to revieve an injection and become the first person to get the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine as Britain starts its biggest ever immunisation programme. - Britain on December 8 hailed a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest vaccination programme in the country's history with a new Covid-19 jab. (Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Jacob King has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: Pictures were taken on [December 8, 2020] instead of [December 9, 2020]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, speaks to the media after becoming the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry, administered by nurse May Parsons, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Nurse May Parsons carries the first Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital Coventry, to be administered to Margaret Keenan, 90, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, speaks to the media after becoming the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry, administered by nurse May Parsons, at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
Margaret Keenan, 90, is applauded back onto her ward by nurses, after receiving the first Pfizer covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital Coventry. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, is applauded by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Margaret Keenan, 90, is applauded by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
Dr Doreen Brown, 85, receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs, at Guy's Hospital in London, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
A nurse waits to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Cardiff on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
CAPTION CORRECTION AMENDING SPELLING OF NAME TO RANJAN SHUKLA Ranjan Shukla, accompanied by her husband Dr Hari Shukla, receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs, administered by retired nurse Suzanne Medows, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on after nurse Rebecca Cathersides administered the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Lyn Wheeler at Guy's Hospital in London, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
David Farrell, 51, from Llandow, receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs at a vaccination centre in Cardiff, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks and Lyn Wheeler (right) before she receives the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London, on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history. Care home workers, NHS staff and people aged 80 and over began receiving the jab this morning.
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 08: A woman receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs at a vaccination centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Wales joined the other UK nations in rolling out the covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, a rare moment of coordination after months of disjointedness in the four nations' pandemic response. Wales introduced a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown in October and November to suppress the surge in covid-19 cases, but infections have continued to rise. (Photo by Ben Birchall - Pool / Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 08: A Covid-19 vaccination record card at a vaccination centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Wales joined the other UK nations in rolling out the covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, a rare moment of coordination after months of disjointedness in the four nations' pandemic response. Wales introduced a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown in October and November to suppress the surge in covid-19 cases, but infections have continued to rise. (Photo by Ben Birchall - Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson watches as nurse Rebecca Cathersides administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Lyn Wheeler at Guy's Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Frank Augstein - Pool / Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson watches as nurse Rebecca Cathersides administers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Lyn Wheeler at Guy's Hospital in London, on December 8, 2020. - UK health authorities rolled out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: "Bill" William Shakespeare, 81, receives the Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital at the start of the largest ever immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Jacob King - Pool / Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Liz Rix, Chief Nurse rolls up Michael Tibbs, 99, sleeve in preparation of administering the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Queen Alexandra Hospital. Michael Tibbs is the first person in the South West to receive the Covid-19 vaccination on December 8, 2020 in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. More than 50 hospitals across England were designated as covid-19 vaccine hubs, the first stage of what will be a lengthy vaccination campaign. NHS staff, over-80s, and care home residents will be among the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which recently received emergency approval from the country's health authorities. (Photo by Ewan Galvin - Pool / Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Mrs Keenan, known to family and friends as Maggie, received the jab from nurse May Parsons at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Mrs Keenan, who turns 91 next week, is a former jewellery shop assistant who retired four years ago.

She has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.

Mrs Keenan 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."

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens praised all those involved in delivering the new vaccine programme.

"Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS has now delivered the first clinically approved Covid-19 vaccination – that is a remarkable achievement," Sir Simon said.

"A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who has made this a reality – the scientists and doctors who worked tirelessly, and the volunteers who selflessly took part in the trials. They have achieved in months what normally takes years.

"My colleagues across the health service are rightly proud of this historic moment as we lead in deploying the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.

"I also want to thank Margaret, our first patient to receive the vaccine on the NHS."

Mrs Keenan has been self-isolating for most of this year and is planning on having a very small family "bubble" Christmas to keep safe.

Margaret Keenan speaks to the media
Margaret Keenan speaks to the media (Jacob King/PA)

Originally from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, she has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years.

She will receive a booster jab in 21 days to ensure she has the best chance of being protected against the virus.

NHS nurse Mrs Parsons said it was a "huge honour" to be the first in the country to deliver the vaccine to a patient.

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.

"The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS, but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel."

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme will see patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, among the first to receive the jab.

Care home providers are also being asked by the Department of Health and Social Care to begin booking staff in to vaccination clinics.

GPs are also expected to be able to begin vaccinating care home residents.

Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from Covid-19.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS