A grandmother has become the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech 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.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she got “a bit of a lump in the throat” watching Mrs Keenan receive her vaccination.
The First Minister tweeted: “Got a bit of a lump in the throat watching this. Feels like such a milestone moment after a tough year for everyone. The first vaccines in Scotland will be administered today too.”
Mrs Keenan, known to family and friends as Maggie, received the jab from nurse May Parsons at University Hospital in Coventry.
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.”
Mrs Keenan, who has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren, has been self-isolating for most of this year and is planning on having a very small family “bubble” Christmas to keep safe.
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: “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.”
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.
The first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine are to be distributed in Scotland on Tuesday.
Vaccinators will be the first to get the jab at one of 23 sites across the country.
The vaccine, produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, will then be given to vulnerable groups as part of a tiered system with each person requiring two doses.
Sturgeon on Monday met staff who are co-ordinating the vaccine – produced by Pfizer and BioNTech – at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, which is one of the sites acting as vaccination centres for priority groups.
The Scottish Government said it has received an initial batch of 65,000 doses, with more on the way.
The vaccine must be stored at minus 70C (minus 94F) before being thawed out, presenting a logistical challenge in delivering it to care homes.
Planning is under way for the vaccine to be delivered to care home residents from December.