- 91-year-old Margaret Keenan received her third injection of Pfizer vaccine today
- She made history when she became the first person to get a job outside the trials
- Ms Keenan urges others to come forward, says she is ‘very happy’
A British grandmother, who became the first person in the world to receive a COVID vaccine outside of clinical trials, got a booster jab today as the UK continues to top-up doses.
Margaret Keenan, 91, who prefers to be called Maggie, returned to Warwickshire’s University Hospital Coventry this afternoon to receive her third coronavirus injection.
The grandmother of four made history on 8 December when she became the first person to get an approved Covid jab.
And May Parsons, a hospital nurse who gave Ms. Keenan her first and second jab, had her third injection with them.
The campaign, a bid to boost their safety and avoid a fourth wave this winter that affects the NHS, is already underway.
Ms Keenan, a former jewelery shop assistant who retired only five years ago, said she was ‘overjoyed’ to have the booster and urged others to come forward.
She said: ‘I really don’t know what stops people from having it, maybe they’re afraid of needles, but that’s nothing to be afraid of.’
Since the rollout began, 48.6 million first doses and 44.6 million second doses have been administered, which is equivalent to more than eight in 10 over-16s in the UK, fully immunized.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed last week that 32 million people in Britain would be offered a third dose six months after their second dose.
Aged care home residents, over 50, health and social care workers and over 16 with underlying conditions that put them at serious risk from COVID are all eligible for additional injections.
Margaret Keenan of Coventry received her third dose of Pfizer vaccine today at University Hospital Coventry in Warwickshire. Last December, she became the first person in the world to receive a coronavirus vaccine outside clinical trials
Ms Keenan is welcomed into the hospital by May Parsons (right), the nurse who administered her first vaccine, before both of them leave for booster jobs at the hospital
Matron Parsons (at left, talking to Ms Keenan) said it was “really heartwarming” to see Ms Keenan ‘doing so well’ and if you want the maximum, get a third dose of the COVID vaccine. Doing it is ‘mandatory’. Safety this winter
Ms Keenan and Ms Parsons received their boosters together at the same time, which Grandma called ‘hilarious’.
Ms Keenan said: ‘It was a real privilege to be the first person to be vaccinated against COVID in December, and with May to be able to receive my booster was hilarious.
England’s Covid outbreak down 11% last week
England’s Covid outbreak fell by more than a tenth last week and the R rate fell below one, according to official figures – but infections among children are now rising in another sign of a back-to-school wave.
The weekly surveillance report from the Office for National Statistics estimated that 620,100 people had the virus on any day of the week as of September 18, 11 percent less than the previous seven-day spell.
And No10’s top scientists claimed that the R rate has fallen below one for the first time since mid-August and could be as low as 0.8.
But the ONS also estimated that among 12 to 16-year-olds and 2 to 11-year-olds, one in 35 is thought to be infected. Cases fell in all other age groups.
The latest figures provide evidence that infections among children are now on the rise after returning to classes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in early September. Experts had warned that the onset of autumn would give rise to a new wave.
‘May be a lot of fun – we did a double-act today, Maggie May.
‘I feel good, I feel great.
‘It’s protected me in my mind too, and I feel so confident now that I’m going out, I’m so happy now that I’ve done it.
‘It’s saving their lives, their families’ lives, and it’s helping the NHS, so what more can I say – go for it, go and do it, you’ll feel so much better for it, it’s your is going to help, and help others.’
The third dose is being administered through pharmacies, hospitals, GP practices and vaccination centres.
People will be given either a booster dose of Pfizer or a half dose of Moderna, regardless of which vaccine they receive for their first two doses.
But if they are allergic to any of these vaccines, the AstraZeneca jab will be used.
The national vaccination campaign, which was launched last December in 70 UK hospitals, saw most of the first doses given to over 80 people.
The UK was the first country in the world to use the Pfizer jab, after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved its use on 2 December.
The AstraZeneca jab was the second to be rolled out across the UK after the MHRA found it safe and effective on 30 December.
Moderna’s jab was the third to be approved, having received the drug regulator’s nod on January 8.
About 5,000 people were vaccinated on the first day of the rollout in December, but in March the figure jumped to 845,000 jobs in a single day.
Speaking today, Matron Parsons said it is ‘really heartwarming’ to see Ms Keenan ‘doing so well’ and that getting a third dose of the COVID vaccine is ‘must-have’ if you want maximum protection this winter. ‘ Is.
On 8 December, a few days before her 90th birthday, Ms Keenan became the first person to receive a Pfizer jab after being approved in the UK. Speaking at the time, she saw it as a “huge day” for herself and the “rest of the world” and said she was “overjoyed” to be able to return home and spend time with her family.
After launching the UK’s largest ever vaccination campaign, Ms Keenan gave her…