The United Kingdom has officially begun coronavirus vaccination program, with the drug developed by Pfizer and BioNTech injected into the shoulder of a 90-year-old grandmother called Margaret Keenan.
Margaret took her first jab in Coventry, central England, on Tuesday morning, a week before she turns 91.
“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,” Ms Keenan said.
About 800,000 doses are expected to be administered at 70 hospitals in the coming days, less than a week after Britain became the first Western nation to approve a vaccine against COVID-19.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the deployment of the vaccine meant there was “light at the end of the tunnel” for Britain, which has recorded more than 60,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
“We will look back on today, V-day, as a key moment in our fightback against this terrible disease,” he said.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to social media to thank the country’s National Health Service (NHS) and those who worked to develop the vaccine.
“Thank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers — and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others. We will beat this together,” he wrote.
The global immunisation programme is expected to gain momentum as more vaccines win approval.