Coronavirus - Part 3 (January 2021)

A YouGov poll in December showed that 85% of Britons thought they had insufficient information about Covid-19 vaccines, their safety and so on.  Welcome to Coronavirus Part 3.


V-day arrived
At 6:30 GMT on 8 December 2020 at University Hospital, Coventry, a 90-year-old woman originally from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trial conditions.


Margaret Keenan, whose name is forever destined to be the answer in various quizzes, turned 91 the following week.  The jolly grandmother turned up for her jab and global photo call in a natty Christmas penguin T-shirt and said it was, ‘… the best early birthday present I could wish for.’  She urged everyone, ‘Go for it because it’s free.’  The second recipient was an 81-year-old man with the improbable name of William Shakespeare from - I kid you not - Warwickshire.  Journalists insisted that he felt the jab was ‘much ado about nothing’.  Everybody wanted their say on this extraordinary occasion.  The optimistic health secretary, Matt Hancock, wanted all to know that he had already booked his 2021 holiday – in Cornwall.  It was left to the realistic Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, to caution, ‘It may be that next winter, even with vaccination, we need measures like masks in place.  We don’t know yet how good all the vaccines are going to be at preventing the transmission of the virus.’  This historic, triumphant and even jocular day marked the official start of the UK's biggest ever mass vaccination programme.


On 4 January, Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old dialysis patient, became the first person to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.  The retired maintenance manager got the newly-approved vaccine at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital.

                                                                                                        To be continued!

Top  ▲▲                           Home ►►