A year after her injection, the Briton, aged 91, asked to be vaccinated again, specifically for the third dose and against the Omicron variant.
A year ago, till date, the whole world saw a silver lining after the first person was vaccinated against COVID-19. On December 8, 2020, in the headlines, Briton Margaret Keenan, then 90 years old, received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine live on television at Coventry Hospital. Symbolizing a new phase, the end of the pandemic seemed near.
A year passed. There have been 8 billion injections done worldwide. But while nothing has been achieved, inequalities remain: 8% of residents in the poorest countries have received the first dose, while in the richest countries 65% have received the first dose. The situation is complicated by the emergence of variants, with the world’s first vaccine taking advantage of this anniversary to deliver a booster shot: “Please do it because it will save your life, the lives of your friends and family.”
“A Moment of Hope After Months of Fear”
Sick, non-age at the time of first dose of vaccine, which bore the inscription “Merry Christmas” on his blue t-shirt, couldn’t expect “A Better Birthday Gift”. Margaret Keenan returned to service and continued her engagement a year later after receiving her third dose: “Go ahead, you know. Just do it. It doesn’t take long. You can book or visit drop-in centers, so go ahead.”
Margaret was an inspiration to many during the UK mass vaccination campaign, through which more than 118 million doses were given. Amanda Pritchard, executive director of NHS England, explains: “Maggie launches world’s first national immunization programme. It was a moment of hope after months of fear.” For her part, Nurse May Parsons, who injected the first vaccine, is deeply grateful to Margaret Keenan. “It’s never too late to get people vaccinated. In my department, COVID patients are often healthy and unvaccinated people.”
With the advent of a new wave of contamination due to the emergence of the Omicron type, the campaign for the third dose should not fail. According to information from Sky News, the UK will need 10,000 more people to get the vaccine. To date, about 70% of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, managed by the University of Oxford. Margaret Keenan is preparing for the end of the year with her four grandchildren.