UK begins COVID vaccinations starting with a 90-year-old
COVENTRY, UK, December 8, 2020, (LifeSiteNews) – At just after half past six this morning, and to much media fanfare, Margaret Keenan, a 90 year old grandmother of four, made headlines around the world by being the first person to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech-developed COVID-19 vaccine.
Mrs Keenan’s vaccination marks the beginning of a mass-rollout program of the Pfizer vaccine in Britain, with health secretary Matt Hancock declaring that “[t]oday marks the start of the fightback against our common enemy, the coronavirus.”
Hancock announced in the House of Commons this morning that the “Herculean task” of rolling out the vaccine across the nation will begin “by Christmas.” Using so-called “hospital hubs,” where the most vulnerable are to be offered the vaccine first, it is expected that a further 800,000 will receive the jab before the end of the year.
Public figures took to social media, with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeting “[t]hank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers - and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others. We will beat this together.”
Today the first vaccinations in the UK against COVID-19 begin. Thank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers - and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others. We will beat this together. https://t.co/poOYG1vHQe— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 8, 2020
The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, shared that seeing the moment that Margaret received the vaccine gave her “a bit of a lump in the throat,” adding that Scotland’s firsts vaccinations will also take place today.
Got a bit of a lump in the throat watching this. Feels like such a milestone moment after a tough year for everyone.— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 8, 2020
The first vaccines in Scotland will be administered today too. https://t.co/KKaEhf19Jo
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was only approved for use by the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last week, and many still have concerns over the possible side-effects and its overall safety. The government’s own safety guidelines for the Pfizer vaccine indicate that it should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and children. No information has been provided as to why these precautions are necessary. In addition the guidelines state that it is unknown what effect the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine will have on fertility.
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