Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the news that the first vaccines have been administered by NHS staff on what has been dubbed “V-Day”.
Today, in the early hours 91 year old grandmother Margaret Keenan from Coventry said it was the “best early birthday present” to be the first person to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab which has shown to be 95% effective. She was followed by William Shakespeare from Warwickshire.
They are just 2 of the 800,000 who shall be receiving the first dose of the vaccine over the coming weeks. In total, the government has bought 40 million doses of this vaccine developed in Oxford – enough for 20 million UK residents.
Today, the first local hospital hub Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth – one of 50 nationwide - has also started vaccinating local residents. Local healthcare staff have been working over the weekend to prepare and GPs, and other primary care staff, are on standby to start delivering around the region.
“Thank you to all the heroic scientists and all those who have made this day a reality. While we have 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and the biggest vaccination programme planned in NHS history, it will take a good few months to get the vaccinations rolled out.
“We must continue to follow the guidance and remember #HandsFaceSpace while our healthcare workers carry out their vital work.”
The first to receive the jabs will be care home residents and carers, all those over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers. Added together these groups represent about 2/3rds of the deaths from COVID-19 so far. The Vaccine Taskforce – the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history – will continue to rollout the vaccine across the country.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, commented that getting vaccinated is "a tribute to scientific endeavour and human ingenuity and to the hard work of so many people” and that “today marks the start of the fightback against our common enemy, the coronavirus."