| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

First woman to get Covid vaccine receives booster shot – and urges others to follow suit

Margaret Keenan, 91, The first person in the world   to receive a coronavirus vaccine has been given a booster shot in hospital.

on Friday Keenan received the booster at University Hospital Coventry, Warwickshire – the same place where she received the Pfizer/BioNTech inoculation in December last year.

The grandmother, originally from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, urged others to get an additional injection to help protect them from Covid-19.

Afterwards, she told reporters, “I feel great”, urging the public to “go for it”.

Mrs Keenan, a mother of two and grandmother of four, was reunited with hospital matron May Parsons – the nurse who administered her first vaccine and who was also receiving her booster jab as a frontline health worker – with the pair sharing a big hug.

NHS England is currently administering additional shots to everyone aged 50 and over, vulnerable people, as well as frontline health and social care workers.

More than 1.5 million eligible people have so far been invited to book their booster vaccine under the scheme.

The nonagenarian, who retired from her job at a jewellers only five years ago, said: “I think, for the few seconds it takes, [they should] go and have the injection because it’s saving their lives, their family’s lives and saving the NHS.

“I keep saying this all the time, ‘do go and get your vaccination’.”

“I don’t really know what stops people from having it … there’s nothing to be frightened of,” said Mrs Keenan, who has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years.

“It’s protected me in the mind, as well, you know. I feel quite confident now, going out, places I wouldn’t have thought about before.”

“I felt a bit, not scared, but feel so happy now that I’ve got this done and can be free, if you like.

“I’m happier that I’ve had the jab.”

More than 78 million vaccinations have been delivered and about nine in 10 adults have had their first dose since the start of the UK’s programme in December 2020.

“The world watched in December as Maggie Keenan became the first in the world to get a Covid vaccine, and since then more than 40 million others across the country have joined her,” Amanda Pritchard, National Health Service chief executive said.

“This is testament to the incredible efforts of NHS staff and volunteers, working at speed to protect people from this awful virus.

“If you’re invited, please do come forward for your boost of protection.”