British grandma, 90, is first patient in world to get Pfizer vaccine as UK roll out officially begins
‘If I can have it at 90 then you can too’
Margaret Keenan said she felt ‘privileged’ to receive the Pfizer vaccine after she became the first patient in the world to have it.
Mrs Keenan from Coventry received the jab today following clinical approval, as the NHS’ largest vaccine campaign starts today.
The Health Secretary says he felt ’emotional’ after seeing the image of Mrs Keenan being vaccinated.
For much of the year, like many of her peers, Mrs Keenan has been self-isolating and was planning on having a very small family ‘bubble’ Christmas. She’s set to receive the booster jab in 21 days.
Mrs Keenan, who is from Coventry and will be 91 next week, said: “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19, 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.”
Known to friends as Maggie, she received the vaccine at 6:31am from nurse May Parsons at her local hospital in Coventry.
She added: “I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too.”
Today has been dubbed ‘V-Day’ by Matt Hancock as hospital hubs across the country begin administrating the vaccine.
Speaking to Sky News, Hancock said: “I’m feeling quite emotional actually watching those pictures.
“It has been such a tough year for so many people and finally we have our way through it – our light at the end of the tunnel as so many people are saying.
“And just watching Margaret there – it seems so simple having a jab in your arm, but that will protect Margaret and it will protect the people around her.
“And if we manage to do that in what is going to be one of the biggest programmes in NHS history, if we manage to do that for everybody who is vulnerable to this disease then we can move on.”
Scotland First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon also appeared emotional following the news, tweeting: “Feels like such a milestone moment after a tough year for everyone. The first vaccines in Scotland will be administered today too.”
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has praised all those delivering the new vaccine. He said: “Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS has now delivered the first clinically approved Covid-19 vaccination – that is a remarkable achievement,
“A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who has made this a reality – the scientists and doctors who worked tirelessly, and the volunteers who selflessly took part in the trials.
“They have achieved in months what normally takes years. My colleagues across the health service are rightly proud of this historic moment as we lead in deploying the PfizerBioNTech vaccine. I also want to thank Margaret, our first patient to receive the vaccine on the NHS.
“Today is just the first step in the largest vaccination programme this country has ever seen.
“It will take some months to complete the work as more vaccine supplies become available and until then we must not drop our guard.
“But if we all stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead, we will be able to look back at this as a decisive turning point in the battle against the virus.”
Mrs Parsons said it was a huge honour to be the first in the country to deliver the vaccine, she said: “It’s a huge honour to be the first person in the country to deliver a Covid-19 jab to a patient, I’m just glad that I’m able to play a part in this historic day.
“The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS, but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mrs Keenan, originally from Northern Ireland received support from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, when he tweeted: “Fantastic to see Enniskillen woman, Margaret, receive the first vaccine this morning!
“The rollout starts today in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the country – supplied by the U.K. Government & administered by our brilliant NHS. VDay”
The vaccine will see a phased rollout with patients over 80 and already in hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged at home among the first to receive the jab.
50 hubs have been set up in the first wave of delivering the jab, in the wider North West they include: Blackpool Teaching Hospital, Countess of Chester Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospital, Liverpool University Hospital, North Cumbria Integrated Care and Wirral University Teach Hospital.
In Greater Manchester, Salford Royal and Stockport will be delivering the vaccine.
The vaccine contains a part of the genetic code, ‘RNA’, of Covid-19. Once injected in the body, the immune system produces antibodies that match the protein like a lock and key. If the patient then gets Covid-19, the body already knows how to respond and the antibodies are automatically triggered to fight the virus.
The UK has 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough for 20 million people.
Jonnie Irwin admitted to hospital as he battles terminal cancer
The star shared his health update on Wednesday afternoon
A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has been inundated with support from his fans after he was admitted to hospital, as he battles terminal cancer.
Jonnie, 49, took to Instagram on Wednesday afternoon (May 24th) to share the health update with his 164,000 followers.
He wrote: “In hospital this week monitoring a changeover in my pain management regime. “Fingers crossed I’ll be out in time to make an appearance on Sunday for this weekend’s A Place In The Sun LIVE event at @olympialondon in Kensington.”
The dad-of-three was instantly inundated with messages from his concerned fans. One adoring fan wrote: “Hope that works for you Jonnie and brings some improvements.”
Another commented: “Really hope they manage to get your pain medication right for you.” And a third typed: “Sending you much love and wishes for a speedy recovery.”
Jonnie went public with his illness in November 2022, almost two and a half years after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, which has since spread to his brain.
Explaining why he kept his condition private for such a long time, Jonnie said he ‘needed money’ and so he had to keep working while undergoing treatment.
Jonnie’s hospital stay comes after he further opened up about his terminal cancer battle in a very frank and honest interview on AIG Life’s OneChat podcast.
The presenter, who has also worked on Escape to the Country and To Buy or Not to Buy, said he hopes part of his legacy will be teaching others to ‘learn from his mistake’.
He said on AIG Life’s OneChat podcast: “One of the reasons I came out and told people about my story…I want people to learn from my mistake.
“I didn’t take critical illness insurance out and therefore I had to keep working.
“Without work, I’ve got no means of paying the bills. And if I had taken the critical illness insurance out, that could’ve covered my outgoings and I probably could’ve told the world a lot sooner.”
Jonnie also spoke about the devastating impact his treatment has had on his personality, saying: “You lose your memory, you lose your patience. I have got a very short temper.
“It’s not made me a better person, that’s for sure.”
Greater Manchester shoppers slam Sainsbury’s rule that makes them ‘feel like thieves’
‘By treating me as a thief you have lost me as a decades-long customer’
Greater Manchester shoppers have slammed a new Sainsbury’s rule which they say makes them ‘feel like thieves’.
Customers at some Sainsbury’s stores in Greater Manchester have been left fuming over the new policy which requires them to scan receipts before they exit.
Some customers of the supermarket giant have said the introduction of the new receipt barriers is simply ‘making everyone’s life harder’ and have called it a ‘pointless waste of everyone’s money and time’.
Having to provide proof of purchase upon exit has been criticised by several angry shoppers venting their frustrations online and threatening to boycott the store.
But the barriers have since been introduced in more shops across the country, including stores in Fallowfield and Salford — following on from the introduction of cameras at the supermarket’s self-service stations in recent years.
If receipts are not scanned, barriers prevent customers from leaving until a store assistant is contacted.
On Twitter, one person wrote: “This feels absolutely insane to me: Sainsbury’s has introduced these barriers at the exits which you need to scan a receipt to open.
“If you don’t buy anything and there’s no one there to tailgate, you need to get security to come and let you out.”
While another tweeted: “@sainsburys I’ve just been locked in to self-checkout for not getting a receipt. By treating me as a thief you have lost me as a decades-long customer.
“Outrageous. Open more checkouts if you want to verify all purchases. You are greedy and hostile. Goodbye and good riddance.”
On Reddit, one user has posted a picture of a notice in one of the Sainsbury’s store, reading: “We’ve introduced new barriers as you leave this store.
“You’ll need to take your receipt and scan this on the barcode reader in front of the barriers.”
Another shopper said: “Pointless waste of money and time, just makes everyone’s life harder.” Some customers questioned the impact the scheme would have on the environment, with the need for receipts to be printed.
One person typed: “Almost every self-service checkout I’ve used for at least a year has let me opt-out of a receipt. Guess we’re not doing less-waste-paper anymore?” While someone else pointed out: “What happens if what you came for wasn’t in? Therefore had no receipt.”
Earlier this month, the chief inspector of constabulary told The Mirror police should use ‘discretion’ when deciding whether to prosecute desperate shoplifters amid rising poverty levels during the cost of living crisis, and soaring prices on supermarket shelves.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said the introduction of the barriers ‘is one of a range of security measures in a small number of stores’.
Elderly dog now unrecognisable after RSPCA shave off 2kg of severely matted fur
He looks completely different!
An elderly dog is now unrecognisable after the RSPCA had to shave off 2kg of severely matted fur from its coat.
The dog, described as ‘sweet and ‘gentle’ by rescuers was found on May 2nd, with a severely matted coat that was caked in faeces but is now completely unrecognisable after rescuers shaved off almost 2kg of ‘stinking’ fur.
Larry, thought to be 13-years-old, suffered months of neglect after he was abandoned in the Bradfield Road area of Crewe, says the RSPCA.
The poodle/Maltese-type pooch was in such a ‘shocking’ state that it was quite difficult to tell what breed he was.
His heavily matted fur was caked in faeces and urine and had formed thick, hardened chunks around his head, tail and feet, leaving his face almost completely covered — as reported by ITV News.
Larry, who was not microchipped, was transferred to the charity’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where vets sedated him before they shaved him.
He is now receiving ongoing care at the RSPCA’s Wirral & Chester branch animal home in Wallasey and has bonded with several canine companions.
Centre manager Kay Hawthorn, who is currently fostering Larry, said: “Under the huge matted clumps of fur, a sweet and gentle dog has emerged who’s been given a new lease of life.
“He was struggling to get around properly and it must have been so uncomfortable for him.
“Now he’s enjoying running around again – something he’s probably not been able to do for a long time — and given his advancing years, he’s surprisingly sprightly.”
The RSPCA is investigating Larry’s case and is appealing to anyone who recognises the dog to come forward.
RSPCA inspector Louise Showering said: “Larry was in an appalling condition, his coat looked like a pile of dirty old rags and it’s likely he’d been neglected for a prolonged period of time. We think he was probably abandoned, or deliberately left to stray.
“His condition would have been of concern to anyone who saw him, and we’re very thankful to the member of the public who so kindly stopped and made sure he got the help he desperately needed.”
Anyone who recognises Larry, who was found on May 2nd, is urged to call the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018 quoting reference 1065689.