On Dec. 8, 90-year-old former jewelry-shop assistant Margaret Keenan from Central England's Coventry, donning a Christmas shirt, received the very first Pfizer and Biotech COVID-19 vaccine delivered by Britain's National Health Service. This made her the first person in the world to get a fully tested and authorized coronavirus vaccine outside of clinical trials, The New York Times reported.
"I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19," Keenan said, according to a National Health Service news release. "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for." She turns 91 next week!
"It's the best thing that's ever happened at the moment."
Keenan, originally from Northern Ireland, has two children and four grandchildren, and she told Good Morning Britain when asked what she would say to people having second thoughts about a vaccine, "I say go for it. Go for it because it's free, and it's the best thing that's ever happened at the moment, so do please go for it." The second person to get the vaccine? An 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare.
The UK approved emergency use of the Pfizer candidate in early December, while the United States's FDA is still in the process of granting official emergency use authorization — though the agency declared the vaccine to be safe and effective and backed up the two-dose efficacy rate of 95 percent found in clinical trial analysis.
In the video above, you'll see interviews with Keenan, as well as NHS nurse May Parsons, who delivered the first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. You'll also see Keenan get the actual dose in her arm and hospital staff cheering her on as she's wheeled down the hallway afterward. She will get the second dose in 21 days.