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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’

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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.”

Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

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.”

National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

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. 

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Mum-of-two raffles off stunning £600k five-bedroom house and Ferrari for just £2

Wait until you see inside the stunning house

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Jennifer Matthews

After spending nearly a year locked down in our homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all thought about moving house at some point, just for a change of scenery.

Well, if you are thinking about moving somewhere a bit bigger, then we’ve got just the thing for you – a stunning £590,000 bespoke five-bedroom house.

And in even better news, you could grab this beautiful house for just £2, as owners Jennifer and David Matthews are raffling off the property, and are throwing in their Ferrari as well.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

The couple built Bramble Lodge – which is located between Bolton and Chorley, near to Adlington – from scratch eight years ago, but now want to sell up and move on.

They came to the difficult decision of selling their ‘dream home’ as they need a more manageable property to clean and run, because of Jennifer’s health condition.

Known as Ventricular tachycardia, it’s an incurable heart condition that causes a fast, abnormal heart rate, and means the mum-of-two could die at any moment.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

However, the coronavirus crisis has made it very difficult to sell the property, which is why they decided to try their luck on popular raffle site Raffall.

This is good news for anyone dreaming of moving into a huge, new family home, as the keys to the five-bedroom detached house – which is worth over half a million and is located in a sought-after postcode – could be yours for as little as £2.

Bramble Lodge is set in its own grounds, hidden away behind a dry stone wall with electric gates for maximum privacy and security, and surrounded by stunning gardens, complete with trees and even a swing.

There’s lots of parking space, with the large drive able to accommodate four cars, which will include the 2004 Ferrari 360 Spider that you claim alongside the house if you win.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

Once inside, there are three beautiful reception rooms and a huge kitchen area with a breakfast bar and an even an Aga.

Head up the elegant spiral staircase to five double sized bedrooms, including one with an en-suite and slipper bath. The second bedroom has a stunning feature window with the staircase to the kitchen area.

The area – once home to Ryan Giggs – boasts outstanding primary schools, a nearby train station with trains to Manchester, has good motorway links, and is also close to the award-winning The Cherry Tree at Blackrod.

Jennifer Matthews

Jennifer Matthews

The Matthews need to sell all the tickets on Raffall by February 14th, or the raffle will end before that if the last ticket sells before that date.

The lucky winner will be chosen at random, so make sure you grab your ticket or tickets ASAP, as they’re sure to sell quickly.

You can find out more and grab a ticket on the Raffall site here – good luck!

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Car swallowed by sinkhole in Manchester after the city is battered by rain and snow

‘Cars getting swallowed now’

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@breadlineblues / Twitter

A car was partially swallowed up by a sinkhole on a Manchester street last night, after the city was battered with torrential rain and snow.

The weather was relentless yesterday, with heavy rain leading to rivers around our region reaching dangerous levels, followed by snow in the evening.

To top it off, a large crater appeared on a residential street in Gorton yesterday evening, with a car falling into it.

The sinkhole was spotted on Walmer Street in Abbey Hey, with the road surface looking like it ‘buckled’ leaving a roughly four square metre hole.

People took to social media to share photos of the car, which has now been removed.

The street was then partly cordoned off by emergency services, who remained at the scene last night, with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and GMP attending.

Surveyors were also on hand to assess the area for structural damage to surrounding houses, although no further details have been released yet about the cause of the sinkhole.

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Around 3,000 properties at risk of flooding tonight in Greater Manchester as heavy rain continues

Stay safe out there everyone

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@TPT_Stockport / Twitter

As Storm Christoph continues to batter Greater Manchester, some areas of south Manchester and Trafford are at risk of flooding tonight.

Around 3,000 properties will be at risk this evening, according to the police, as authorities continue to monitor the rainfall and its impact on our rivers – with several warnings already issued.

Speaking at Andy Burnham’s press conference earlier this afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey detailed the latest information.

According to him, the areas most at risk across Greater Manchester will be those near the River Mersey, specifically Didsbury, Northenden, Sale, and potentially parts of Stretford and Flixton.

ACC Bailey said: “As we speak, residents across those areas are being contacted by the Environment Agency and local authorities to advise them.

“Alerts have already been put out, people there are being advised to consider evacuation procedures should that happen.

“We are going to start to see the overflow contingency provisions at around 5pm. That will reach a peak at around 11pm this evening where we will see flooding of those areas.

“In its worst-case scenario, estimated by the Environment Agency, that could impact on up to 3,000 properties across all the areas.

“This is a significant incident in terms of disruption to population.”

ACC Nick Bailey went on to say that those 3,000 properties might not need to evacuate, adding that authorities will be working ‘right up to the last minute’ to try and prevent that from happening.

In the meantime, Manchester and Trafford councils have been setting up rest centres for anyone who does need to evacuate, and police have confirmed that Covid restrictions do not apply in an evacuation situation – you should leave your home if necessary.

 ACC Bailey added: “Those people have been advised with regards of advice to take where they do feel the need to take action to prevent them being harmed.

“We need to make sure they do take that action, they do make sure they’re safe. The legislation around covid will not be applied there are exemptions.

“If you need to take action, join other bubbles go other properties, please do that if that’s necessary to do that to protect you and your family.”

If you’re worried about the situation you can contact your local authority, however if it’s an emergency dial 999.

Stay safe out there everyone!

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