Is this is a syringe I see before me? Second Briton to be given a Pfizer coronavirus vaccination is William Shakespeare, 81, from Warwickshire
- Mr Shakespeare, from Warwickshire, received the shot in left arm this morning
- First vaccines were administered by nurses at University Coventry Hospital
- Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons
The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus jab is an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire called William Shakespeare.
Britain’s vaccine roll-out got underway this morning, a landmark day in the history of medicine and a turning point in the planet’s fight against the pandemic.
On so-called V-Day, the first vaccines were administered by nurses at University Coventry Hospital.
Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons.
She was quickly followed by Mr Shakespeare, who was pictured receiving the shot in his left arm, and wearing a pair of Christmas slippers with his hospital gown.
The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus jab is an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire called William Shakespeare
His name and hometown – shared with the Bard from Stratford-upon-Avon- raised wry smiles from the watching world.
Many made humorous Shakespeare-related references, quipping that All’s Well That Ends Well.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock wept as Ms Keenan, who turns 91 next week, received her jab at 6.30am.
She hailed a dose of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine ‘the best early birthday present I could wish for’.
For the occassion she wore a bright blue t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Merry Christmas’ and could be seen smiling under her mask.
Mrs Keenan, a former jewellery shop assistant who only retired four years ago, has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.
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.’
Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons
Mr Hancock embarked on a victory lap of broadcast studios this morning.
He said: ‘I’m feeling quite emotional seeing those pictures, it’s been such a tough year for so many people but finally we have our way through it, the light at the end of the tunnel.
‘It seems so simple having a jab in your arm but that will protect Margaret and the people around her.
‘If we manage to do that for everyone who is vulnerable to this disease we can move on and return to normal.
‘I am so grateful to the whole team who made this happen.’
This morning 50 hospital sites across the UK were preparing to roll out the vaccine to the over-80s, the vulnerable and frontline hospital and care home staff.