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08th Dec 2020

90-year-old from Fermanagh is first in the world to receive Pfizer vaccine outside of trial conditions

Rory Cashin

The first vaccine on the island of Ireland has also been administered today.

At 6.31am today (Tuesday, December 8), 90-year-old Margaret Keenan from Enniskillen became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine outside trial conditions. She received the jab at University Hospital, Coventry.

Sky News interviewed Margaret, which you can watch right here:

Additionally, this morning brought the first vaccination administered on the island of Ireland, when Joanna Sloane, a Sister in the Royal Victoria Hospital Emergency Department in Belfast, was the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Northern Ireland.

Both will need return in 21 days time to receive the second dose of the vaccine, which then requires an additional week to reach the full height of its immunity suppression.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens commented on the momentous occasion, which UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock is referring to as ‘V-Day’:

“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.”

As per a report by The Journal, the cabinet is expected to meet today to discuss the rollout schedule for the vaccine in Ireland.

Previously, Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath stated that the decision for the approval will be made within the next few weeks, as the European Medicines Agency “have signalled they have received the application from Pfizer / BioNTech. They’ll meet in late December – 29th December. They may make a decision as early as then, or possibly on 12th January.”

Main image via Twitter/@RTENews

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