The first person in the world has received the first non-clinical trial dosage of the Pfizer vaccine. Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from the United Kingdom received the vaccine after its clinical approval as the National Health Services in the UK launched its vaccine program.
Keenan turns 91 next week. In an interview after she got the vaccine, talked about how lucky she was to be among the first to get the vaccine. “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.”
She added for those who might be nervous about getting the vaccine: “I say go for it, go for it because it’s free and it’s the best thing that has ever happened. If I can do it, well, so can you,” she added, clearly referencing her age, but also, her bravery.
The Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective and new research has found that even after just the first dose of the vaccine that there is strong protection against COVID-19.
Moments after Keenan was vaccinated, another elderly man from the area named William Shakespeare — yes, really — was also given the vaccine. These two folks are among the 800,000 Britons who will receive the vaccine in the coming week. The elderly, home care workers, health service workers, and people who live in elderly communities will have first access to the COVID vaccine.
The same will likely be true in the United States, but potentially on a later timeline, because the United States passed on buying 200 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine earlier this summer and instead only purchased enough to vaccinate 50 million people, meaning that it will be difficult for the government to keep up with an aggressive vaccination timeline by early summer.