A 91-year-old grandmother who became the first person in the world to have a Covid-19 vaccine urged people to get vaccinated after receiving her vaccine.
argaret Keenan returned to Coventry University Hospital in the West Midlands – where she had the historic injection in December 2020 – to receive her booster on Friday.
Afterwards, she told reporters “I feel good”, urging the public to “go for it”.
It comes as the NHS has revealed that more than 350,000 people have booked a booster this week, as the final stage in the fight against Covid-19 begins.
More than 1.5 million eligible people have so far been asked to book their booster shots.
Ms Keenan, mother of two and grandmother of four, was reunited with hospital matron May Parsons – also having her booster shot, as a frontline health worker – with the couple sharing a big hug.
It protected me in my mind too, you knowMarguerite Keenan
Ms Parsons was the doctor who administered Ms Keenan’s jab on December 8 of last year, with Ms Keenan jokingly calling them both “Maggie-May” after rolling up their sleeves.
As the first person in the world to receive a Covid vaccine at the start of the mass vaccination program, Ms Keenan’s face – known as Maggie – was beamed around the world.
In April 2021, she urged people to get their second shot and is now lending her voice to the NHS campaign supporting the deployment of the booster.
The nonagenarian, who only retired from her job at a jewelry store five years ago, said: âI think in the few seconds it takes (they should) go get the injection. because it saves their lives; the lives of their families and save the NHS.
“I keep saying this all the time, go get your shot.”
Ms Keenan, who has lived in Coventry for over 60 years but is from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, added: ‘I don’t really know what’s stopping people from having itâ¦ there’s nothing to to fear.
âIt also protected me in the spirit, you know.
âI feel pretty confident now, I’m going out, places I wouldn’t have thought of before.
âI felt a little, not scared, but I feel so happy now that I did this and that I can be free, if you will.
“I’m happier I got the jab, I probably would have come out but I wouldn’t be very happy about it.”
When asked what her message to the audience would be, she replied, âI would say go ahead, go ahead and do it, and you’ll feel a lot better for it – I think so anyway.
âWhen you walk down the street you feel a different person, you feel so happy because you feel that it is going to help you and help others. “
Ms Keenan was also asked about her new celebrity status, telling reporters she had received “many letters” from “lovely people” in places like Japan, Australia and the United States.
“I’m big news,” she joked.
Ms Parsons also urged people to take a reminder, saying “we are not out of the pandemic yet” and adding: “The wisest decision is to get vaccinated and protected.”
The respiratory medicine matron, who has worked for the NHS for almost 20 years since leaving the Philippines, also said she was “absolutely” concerned about the impact on services this winter, with around 10% of the population British still not having had a vaccine.
She said: âRight now we are fighting different patients coming into our wards, this includes pregnant women who have not been vaccinated and this is a real concern for me.
âI know the lockdown is over, but people don’t think about protecting themselves and obviously their unborn babies.
âWe think this is the hardest winter we’ll ever face, with the flu and Covid in total.
âI can’t say it loud enough – please get vaccinated and protect yourself.
âThere were a lot of people who were anti-vaccine.
âObviously, the flu is always the deadliest in winter.
“On top of that there is Covid, so please, please get vaccinated.”
Ms Parsons also warned that it was “really imperative to have the booster shot if they want maximum protection.”
She described seeing Ms. Keenan again as “lovely.”
She added, âAs humans we have to kiss each other and we need that physical contact.
“It’s really nice to see that she’s doing really well, probably better than me.”
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS, said: âThe world in December watched Maggie Keenan become the first in the world to receive a Covid vaccine, and since then more than 40 million more across the country have had it. joined.
âThis is a testament to the incredible efforts of NHS staff and volunteers, working quickly to protect people from this terrible virus.
âIf you are invited, please come forward for your protection. “
Those eligible for the recall include those over 50, healthcare and primary care workers, and those aged 16 to 49 at risk of serious illness.
Those who are eligible and had their second vaccine at least six months ago will be invited for a booster, with reservation available at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119.
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