A World War II submarine lieutenant, a young Northern Irish nurse whose wedding was canceled due to Covid-19 and a Welsh homeworker with diabetes were among the first to be vaccinated in the UK today.
Thousands of people are expected to receive their Pfizer sting in 50 UK hospitals by the end of today as experts hailed the "beginning of the end" for coronavirus in the UK.
Shortly after Margaret Keenan, 90, became the first person in the world to receive the approved Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine, Portsmouth veteran Michael Tibbs, 99, became the oldest.
In Northern Ireland, Joanna Sloan, a 28-year-old nurse who runs the Belfast Vaccination Clinic, was the first person in the country to get the sting. While in Wales, 48-year-old nursing home worker Craig Atkins from Ebbw Vale was the first to get a sting at the country's Cwmbran mass vaccination center.
In Scotland, Andrew Mencnarowski, Clinical Director of the Ambulance, was first at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
Michael Tibbs, 99, receives the COVID vaccine from Liz Rix, Chief Nurse. Michael Tibbs is the first person in the South West to receive the Covid-19 vaccination at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth
Sister Joanna Sloan is congratulated by colleague Conor McDowell for being the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the first push
The Royal Navy hero who fought on D-Day and was the oldest to get a bump on V-Day
A Royal Navy veteran who was on the front lines of World War II has joined the "V-Day" fight against Covid-19 and is one of the first people in the world to receive the vaccine against the virus.
Royal Navy veteran Michael Tibbs, 99, smiled and joked with nurses as he entered Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth when the NHS mass vaccination program went into action at 70 hospitals across the UK.
Dressed in a tweed suit and cardigan, he walked into the hospital's vaccination center and was accompanied by his son Philip, a retired general practitioner.
Mr. Tibbs, who is now considered the oldest person vaccinated, said: “I didn't know what to expect, but it's absolutely wonderful and I feel really happy to have the vaccination.
“I was confined to the garden during the lockdown, but when things get back to normal I really look forward to seeing my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The vaccine is going to make a difference for everyone and we are so happy to have the NHS. & # 39;
Michael Tibbs, 99, rolls up his sleeve to prepare for the COVID vaccine
Mr Tibbs introduced himself with his wife Anne, who had died last year
Mr. Tibbs told MailOnline: “I felt very privileged to be among the first to receive the vaccination. It was a breeze, completely painless, just like the flu shot.
“There was a hell of a lot of Hullaballoo in the hospital, and TV cameras, the manager and chairman were watching the fun. I don't know how to feel when you are 99 years old, but I'm fine.
“In some ways the way the nation has come together to fight this virus is more like war, but the big difference this time around is that the enemy is invisible and you can't just go out and attack them like you do we did it in the navy.
“I'm so pleased to be able to go out again and see my grandchildren and my two great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, the second injection won't be done until early January so my Christmas party will be the same as everyone else's – rather limited, but we'll make the most of it. & # 39;
His son Chris, who works for NHS England, told BBC Radio5 Live's Emma Barnett: “I'm relieved today. It has been a constant concern that someone in the family, some of whom work for the NHS, could bring the virus into the house and he is very vulnerable because of his age and we all know people who have died.
"It is sad that people like my father and family, who have spent the last nine months doing what we have been told to do to protect ourselves and other people while other people are ready to go to camp parties, and we have seen what happens when it spreads in the younger population and then moves on to the older generation.
“Then we see people coming to the hospital and people die because of the negligent behavior of some younger people. I know that sounds a bit fuddy-duddy, but I think it's very important that people understand the consequences of their personal choice to seek a bit of freedom. & # 39;
A little amused by the media attention, Mr. Tibbs blinked his flashlights but smiled when he saw a nurse and shook her hand as he entered the building.
Mr Tibbs, the son of a Royal Navy chaplain, served aboard the submarine HMS Tantalus in the Far East and remembered surfacing in Port Said, Egypt when the crew learned that the Germans had surrendered on VE Day , but "V-Day" as it was called today was also a proud moment for the veteran.
The ship completed the longest patrol of a British submarine in World War II with a duration of 55 days.
Mr Tibbs was among the first of millions of Britons to receive the Pfizer vaccine as Britain became the first country in the world to approve drug use.
After the war, Mr. Tibbs went to Oxford and then joined the Sudan Political Service, which administered Sudan as a joint protectorate with Egypt.
Michael Tibbs, 99, and his son Philip enjoyed a nice cup of tea together afterwards
When he gained independence in 1954, he was a district commissioner. On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of independence, he gave a four-hour interview to a Sudanese television team. He is one of only two surviving members of the service.
In 1955 they returned to England and settled in Lynchmere, West Sussex. He worked for the AA for 10 years and was Secretary of the Royal College of Physicians until his retirement in 1986.
Since retiring, he has been chairman of the Lynchmere Parish Council and continued to produce and direct the local pantomime
His wife Anne died last year after 67 years of marriage. He still lives in Lynchmere with his younger son Christopher and daughter-in-law (Sylvia).
During the COVID, he found his home detention frustrating, especially as he would have liked to see more of his two great-grandchildren and spend time with his large circle of friends. Most frustratingly, there is no pantomime this year, only the second time since 1947 that the village has not hosted this traditional Christmas event.
Mr Tibbs told a Royal British Legion podcast about some of his notable war memories of VE Day commemorations.
“On the way home we learned in Port Said that there is a lot of talk in Europe about peace. "So sure we realized it was the day after we left there."
On the way home, he and the crew held a service on board the HMS Tantalus.
“We dived to sixty feet all by ourselves and were on duty down there. The captain gave a little speech and was on duty.
& # 39; He said we were very grateful to go home. And that our families would be very grateful that they were no longer threatened by those V1 and V2 bombs and that we would remember our friends in the Far East who are still fighting.
& # 39; When VJ Day came. I was actually a lieutenant on a small submarine in the western isles of Scotland. «
Frontline Belfast nurse whose wedding was canceled due to Covid
Sister Sloan gives a thumbs up after being the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the push
Joanna Sloan, 28, is the sister of the vaccine team at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland's largest.
She received the push just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning at the Royal Victoria Hospital in West Belfast and said it felt like she had cleared the final hurdle.
The nurse from Dundrum in Co Down said: "I feel privileged and honored and a little emotional that we are here – very, very grateful."
She felt "worried and nervous" beforehand.
When the vaccine was given she said she was thinking, "Finally – we are here."
Ms. Sloan added, “Everything that health care workers have been through in either the hospital or the community – people lose family members, we lose colleagues – it felt like it was a big moment and it was and could be be the last hurdle in the fight against Covid. & # 39;
She is a former emergency room nurse and has been in the job for six years.
The nurse is engaged, but her wedding has been postponed because of the pandemic.
Ms. Sloan has a daughter who is five years old.
Afterward she said of the bump, "It felt no different from any other immunization I had, I felt no pain."
She said it was stressful and hard work preparing for the moment.
"We have worked tirelessly to keep people safe."
Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael McBride said it had been a remarkable day.
"With this vaccine and other vaccines and more effective treatments, we can look to the future with some optimism," he said.
"Hopefully Covid-19 will become a more manageable disease in the future and we will move on to a more normal life."
Dr. McBride added that he didn't think that day would come so soon 10 months after Covid-19 was discovered, as opposed to the more normal 10 years it took to develop vaccines.
He recalled the casualties and damage caused by the virus, as well as the number of lives lost, and warned that there would be months to come.
Wales' first was a nursing home nurse with diabetes
This is when a scared and trembling Craig Atkins, 48, from Ebbw Vale was vaccinated
Craig Atkins, 48, of Ebbw Vale, was the first Welshman to get the sting today and described it as "scary".
The homeworker described receiving the vaccine as a "leap into the unknown".
Mr. Atkins, a nursing home carer, was vaccinated at around 8 a.m. at the Cwmbran Mass Vaccination Center.
Wales has the highest average Covid-19 infection rate in the UK, recording 2,000 cases for the first time yesterday.
He told the BBC that he was shaking as he waited for the push.
He said, "It was scary" – but he admitted that he smiled in relief when it was done. Mr. Atkins is a diabetic and gets the flu shot every year.
He added, "I was the first to have this today and it's a little leap into the unknown."
The Scottish NHS chief smiled as he slapped compatriots to poke
A smiling Andrew Mencnarowski, clinical director for outpatient theater at NHS Lothian, received the Pfizer BioNTech push this morning at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh
An NHS chief is the first person in Scotland to receive the new Covid-19 bump – as the landmark vaccine launches in the UK.
Andrew Mencnarowski, clinical director for outpatient theater at NHS Lothian, received the Pfizer BioNTech push this morning at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
The hospital is one of 23 locations across Scotland offering Covid-19 vaccination for priority groups.
Nicola Steedman, Scotland's assistant chief medical officer, was at the Western General to see the first vaccines.
She said, “I felt truly privileged to see this long-awaited and clinically important vaccination program begin at NHS Lothian's Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, and I want to thank everyone involved in the tremendous amount of work that has made it possible for us to Sincerely thank This absolute milestone in our Covid-19 response.
& # 39; The arrival of these first Covid-19 vaccines marks a major turning point for all of us and will protect the most at risk from the serious effects of the virus, but we cannot relax just yet.
“Even after the first people have been vaccinated, it will be important for the time being that everyone continues to follow the Scottish Government's guidelines for their area, and most importantly, follow the FACTS.
"These will continue to be the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and others from the virus as we continue to make vaccination available to everyone who needs it."
The 90-year-old grandmother who had Pfizer Jab urges others to "do what I did".
A 90-year-old grandmother who was the first to receive the Pfizer stab as a mass vaccination hopes others will "do what I did".
Margaret Keenan, who will celebrate her 91st birthday Tuesday next week, said, "Hopefully it will help other people come along and do what I have done and try to do the best they can to get rid of this terrible thing."
Speaking from the Coventry University Hospital Vaccination Clinic Tuesday, Ms. Keenan – known as Maggie – added, “To be honest, I had the opportunity and was in the hospital.
"It was a great opportunity," added Ms. Keenan, who only retired from a jewelry store four years ago.
“I know a person or two will be waiting in my ward and have the doctor do it, but because it was available to me today (I did).
Margaret Keenan, 90, is returning to her ward after becoming the first person in the world to receive the approved engraving in Coventry
“I have nothing against the (media) attention, it doesn't bother me.
"I'm just glad I did."
The second person to receive the injection was 81 year old William & # 39; Bill & # 39; Shakespeare, an inpatient on the frailty wards at Coventry Hospital, based in his namesake's native Warwickshire.
Ms Keenan, who is originally from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, but has lived in Coventry for more than 60 years, described the moment she was vaccinated at 6:31 a.m. in a world first.
"It was fine – I wasn't nervous at all," said the mother of two.
Ms. Keenan said she was looking forward to a "little break" before being released on Wednesday.
She is now planning a little family reunion for Christmas and her birthday next week after last year's 90th celebrations.
Earlier, speaking to the PA News Agency while waiting for her injection from Sister May Parsons, she quipped that she was hoping for a trip to & # 39; Barbados & # 39 ;.
90 year old Margaret Keenan is greeted by staff as she returns to her ward after being the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine today in Coventry
She added, "I can't thank May and the NHS staff enough for looking after me tremendously, and I advise anyone offering the vaccine to take it – if I can have it by 90, you can too." to have. & # 39;
Ms. Keenan was among up to 100 people who received the sting, which arrived in an isolated container a few minutes before inoculation and, following rigorous clinical controls, required careful handling.
When asked how she felt standing in line for the bump first, she said, "It hasn't penetrated yet," and first added that the staff were wearing it.
Grandmother of four said she thought it was a joke at first and said: I couldn't believe it.
“I'm glad it happened and now I've done it.
"Right now I don't know how I feel, just so strange and really so wonderful," she added.
"This is for a good cause and I'm so glad I did."
Ms. Keenan said she "never" thought she would be the first person to receive the vaccine as part of the national rollout.
"This is a terrible disease so let's get rid of it. Anything that helps is a bonus, isn't it?" She said.
Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine against Covid-19 today at Coventry University Hospital
She said to those who might be concerned about vaccination, “I say go ahead, because it's free and it's the best thing that has ever happened.
& # 39; Do it.
& # 39; If I can do it; Well, you can too, ”she said.
Although she didn't know personally who was affected, Ms. Keenan said she and her family followed the rules and that we now have our own little bladder.
Commenting on the impact of the global pandemic, she commented, "It's terrible what is being done to people. It's so sudden and so devastating to see what they're really going through."
She was later rolled back to her ward, where the nursing staff formed an honor guard and Ms. Keenan cheered and applauded, who was visibly emotional at the gesture.
Ms. Keenan said, “I'm looking forward to Christmas.
“I didn't think I'd be home from the hospital so soon.
"I'm going to spend Christmas with four of my family members and then we'll see what happens in the new year, but I'm looking forward to Christmas – yes, I am."
After the vaccination, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis tweeted, “It's fantastic to see Enniskillen's wife, Margaret, receive the first vaccine this morning!
& # 39; Rollout begins today in Northern Ireland and the rest of the country – provided by the UK government and managed by our brilliant NHS. £ VDay. & # 39;
Mr Shakespeare, the second person to receive the vaccine, said he was "pleased" to receive the shock.
He added, "I have to say the staff at this hospital are wonderful."
Taming the flu for 81-year-old William Shakespeare
The second person to be vaccinated in Coventry was William Shakespeare, 81, from Warwickshire, who said he was "pleased" to receive the shock.
"I have to say the staff at this hospital are wonderful," he added.
He is believed to be related to the bard, his family claimed today.
His niece, Emily Shakespeare, a graduate student at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, said relatives think the connection is very likely.
The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus sting is an 81-year-old Warwickshire man named William Shakespeare
She tweeted today: “Around 86 percent are sure that it is us. Bill's ancestors closely follow Coventry's past with industry there. And I have a connection with the & # 39; Kerseley branch & # 39; seen the offspring of the bard. & # 39;
Ms. Shakespeare added that her uncle was English through and through and that there was no connection with Ireland.
He comes from near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, the hometown of the bard.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust confirmed to MailOnline that there are no direct descendants of William Shakespeare today, although there are descendants of his sister Joan who married a William Hart.
William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway and they had three children, Susanna, Judith and Hamnet. However, all four of the couple's grandchildren died without an heir, so there are no direct descendants today.
Susanna and John Hall's only daughter, Elizabeth, married twice, but both marriages remained childless. The three sons of Judith and her husband Thomas Quiney all died at a young age. Hamnet died at the age of 11.
The Trust added that it had no immediate knowledge of any "Kerseley Office" but would conduct further investigations to obtain information about it.
The 81-year-old woman, who received applause, told Boris the vaccination was "everything for Britain".
One of the first people to be vaccinated under the UK's national Covid-19 vaccination program, said Prime Minister Boris Johnson it was "everything for the UK".
Lyn Wheeler, 81, of Bromley, south east London, was the first to receive the Pfizer push at Guy & # 39; s Hospital in London this morning.
She got the vaccine before Mr. Johnson, and when he asked her how it was, she said, "It's all for Britain."
Mrs. Wheeler received applause after receiving the vaccination.
She said it was "nice" to take part in the Covid-19 vaccination program.
"It's all a little unreal at the moment, but it's nice to be part of what I think is very valuable work," she said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with Lyn Wheeler (right) before receiving the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Guy & # 39; s Hospital in London today
“We have to do something, we cannot go on as we are. We can't be scared of going to stores or sitting on a bus all the time. & # 39;
Ms. Wheeler said she hoped with the push she would encourage other people to have it too.
She added, “You have to realize that life is a little risky and there is no further hiding. You have to get up and do things.
"I'm going to try because I feel like there is no other way, we can't go on sitting in our houses."
Mr Johnson said it was "very, very exciting" to meet some of the first people to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
The Prime Minister spoke on Tuesday at Guy's Hospital vaccination center in London that he wanted to speak to Ms. Wheeler.
"It was very, very exciting to talk to Lyn about the vaccine she was just taking," he said.
"She's 81 and it's really very moving to hear her say she's doing it for the UK, which is just right – she's protecting herself but also helping to protect the whole country."
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