The United Kingdom is the first country to begin vaccinating its citizens with a Covid-19 shot outside of clinical trials — a landmark moment in the coronavirus pandemic.
90-year-old Margaret Keenan received the first of two doses of Covid-19 vaccine at 6:31am local time on Tuesday at University Hospital in Coventry; just a few days after the UK became the first country to approve it.
Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said she felt “privileged” to be first to get the shot.
“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” she said, according to a statement released by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offers 95% protection against Covid-19. According to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), more than one in 10 recipients may suffer side effects including pain at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. A handful of other, less common, side effects are also listed.
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the UK’s MHRA and authorize the emergency use for the Pfizer vaccine as soon as this week — its vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency will conclude its decision on the vaccine on December 29, according to the European Commission.
Original writer: Ivanna Kottasova | CNN News
Photo: CNN News