First person receives Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in UK

A 90-year old woman is the first person to receive BNT162b2, the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, outside of clinical trials.

COVID-19 vaccine

The first person in the UK and the world has been administered with an approved COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials. A 90-year old was administered BNT162b2, the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, by a National Health Service (NHS) nurse. 

Margaret Keenan was given the inoculation at 6:31 GMT today, according to BBC News, a week before her 91st birthday. The vaccination will be the first of 800,000 doses of BNT162b2 to be administered in the coming weeks. Reportedly, there are up to four million more doses expected to arrive in the UK by the end of the month. However, an overall order for 40 million doses of the vaccine has been placed with the pharmaceutical companies, which would cover 20 million people requiring two doses each. 

The roll out will involve 70 hospital hubs across the UK which are currently preparing to provide the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that there was a “long march ahead of us but this marks the way out.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thanked the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and “all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine.”

The UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce chairwoman Kate Bingham has said that it is likely people most at risk will be vaccinated by April and authorities would then consider how to broaden out the vaccinations to other adults.

Meanwhile, the first COVID-19 vaccination in Northern Ireland has been administered, BBC News also reports. Sister Joanna Sloan received the inoculation just after 08:00 GMT at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Sloan will head up the vaccine roll out in Belfast, managing the Belfast Trust vaccination centre.