(CMR) A 90-year-old British woman has become the first patient in the world to receive the COVID-19 vaccine the National Health Service has confirmed.
Margaret Keenan received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at 6:45 a.m. in Coventry on Tuesday morning. This historic first comes on the heels of the UK approving the vaccine and roll out of its mass vaccination program last week Wednesday.
Keenan is a former jewelry shop assistant and was wheeled in wearing a Merry Christmas t-shirt to receive the first shot. Her photo immediately went viral in a race to get the covid-19 virus under control. The virus has killed 1.5 million people worldwide since December.
The shot was administered by a 24-year veteran of the NHS, Filipino May Parsons.
Ironically the second person to get the shot was a man named William Shakespeare.
The rollout includes making the vaccine available at 50 hospital hubs across the country targeting patients aged 80 and over who are attending hospital appointments or being discharged from those facilities. They will also roll out the vaccine to doctors, nurses and nursing home workers during the first wave.
This mass vaccination campaign is said to be unprecedented in modern medicine and means that Britons are the first in the world to receive the clinically authorized, fully tested vaccine.
British regulators, who were highly criticized for mismanagement of the covid-19 pandemic have now beat the Americans and others to approve a coronavirus vaccine.
President Trump has responded by claiming on Tuesday he will issue an executive order proclaiming that no other country can get the U.S. supplies for the vaccine until their citizens have all been inoculated. Most believe the direction is ineffective. It was also disclosed that over the summer the Trump Administration passed on Pfizer's offer to lock in supplies beyond the 100 million doses they have agreed to sell to the government. The move is now being highly criticized.
The directive would not expand the U.S. supply of doses.
100 million doses is enough to vaccinate only 50 million Americans as the vaccine is a two-dose treatment. The vaccine being produced by Pfizer and its German partner and requires storage at very specific “south pole like” temperatures.
The vaccine is expected to receive authorization for emergency use in the U.S. as soon as this weekend, with another vaccine, developed by Moderna, also likely to be approved for emergency use soon.