A 91-year-old grandmother, who became the first person in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, was given a booster jab, and urged others to do the same.
Margaret Keenan returned to University Hospital Coventry in the West Midlands – where she received her historic injection in December – on Friday to get her booster.
Later, she told reporters: “I feel great”, encouraging people to “go for it”.
The NHS said more than 350,000 people have booked boosters this week, as the latest phase of the fight against COVID-19 gets underway.
More than 1.5 million people have been invited to book the booster vaccine.
Those over 50, frontline health and care workers and people aged 16-49 at risk of serious illness who have had their second vaccine at least six months ago are being invited for a booster.
Mrs Keenan, who has four grandchildren, was reunited with hospital matron May Parsons – along with her booster jab, as a frontline health worker – the pair share a big hug.
Ms. Parsons first responded to Mrs. Keenan last year, when Mrs. Keenan referred to the two of them as “Maggie-May” when she rolled up her sleeve.
As the first person anywhere in the world to get a COVID jab at the start of the mass vaccination programme, she is part of the NHS campaign on the booster rollout.
The nonagenarian, who retired from a job as a jeweler only five years ago, said: “I think, for a few seconds, (they) should go and get the injection because it’s saving their lives – that of their family.” Lives, and saving the NHS.”
Mrs Keenan of Coventry added: “I really don’t know what stops people from eating it… nothing to be afraid of.
“It has kept me safe in the mind as well. I feel quite confident now, going out, places I would never have thought of before.”
Mrs Keenan said she had received “a lot of letters” from “some lovely people” from many places, including Japan, Australia and the US. “I’m big news,” he joked.
Ms Parsons also urged people to get a booster, saying “we are not out of the pandemic yet”.
Matron, who has worked for the NHS for nearly 20 years since arriving from the Philippines, also said she was concerned about the impact on wards this winter, with around 10 per cent of the UK population still not having a vaccine.
She said: “We are coping with a variety of patients coming into our wards – this includes pregnant people who have not been vaccinated, and that’s a real concern for me.
“People are not thinking about the safety of themselves and obviously their unborn children.
“It’s supposed to be the hardest cold we’re ever going to face, along with the flu and COVID.”
Ms Parsons said having a booster was “really imperative” if people wanted maximum protection.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /