Coventry (AP) – A 90-year-old woman received the first corona vaccination in Great Britain. Margaret Keenan has been vaccinated at Coventry University Hospital, according to the NHS (National Health Service).
Last week, Britain became the first country in the world to grant Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer emergency approval for their corona vaccine. Four million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in the country this year – in total, London has ordered 40 million doses of vaccine from Pfizer. Hundreds of millions more are expected from other vaccine manufacturers whose preparations have not yet been approved. Products from domestic manufacturers are already in use in China and Russia.
Residents of nursing homes, medical staff, the elderly and those at health risk should be the first to be vaccinated. According to the government, it is the largest vaccination campaign in Britain’s history.
“I feel so privileged to be the first person to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” said Keenan, who, according to the statement, is only called “Maggie”. In three weeks, the former employee of a jeweler will receive a second injection. Two doses per person are required for complete vaccination protection.
She is looking forward to spending time with her family and friends in the New Year, having been mostly alone this year. “Maggie” called on her fellow countrymen to also get vaccinated: “If I can get them to 90, you can too.”
A man named William Shakespeare is said to have finished second at the University Clinic in Coventry, a BBC reporter reported on Twitter. Like its famous namesake, the 81-year-old is from Warwickshire.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the start of widespread corona vaccinations in his country as a “huge step forward”. “I am very proud of the scientists who developed the vaccine, of the citizens who participated in the trials, and of the (national health service) NHS that worked tirelessly to prepare for labor,” said Johnson.
The logistical challenge is great because the medium must be cooled to minus 70 degrees Celsius. According to media reports, the British government wants to fly into the preparation produced in Belgium by military aircraft if necessary, in order not to get stuck in the dreaded Brexit traffic chaos. A government spokesman declined to confirm this, but said, “The military will play an important role in the massive logistical challenge.”
Great Britain is one of the most corona-affected countries in Europe. On Monday, the government reported 14,718 more corona cases, 189 people had died within 28 days of a positive test. In all, there have been about 77,000 Covid-19-related deaths to date. Prime Minister Johnson stressed that the massive vaccination would take time. Therefore, all hygiene regulations must be observed.