Britain on Tuesday began the biggest vaccination programme in the country ’ s history, with a 90- year – old grandmother becoming the first person to receive the Covid vaccine produced by Pfizer- BioNTech .
The historic inoculation was given to Margaret Keenan in Coventry , central England .
Last week Britain became the first country to approve the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the pandemic , which has killed more than 1 . 5 million worldwide .
Britain has been one of the worst – affected countries in the world , with more than 61, 000 deaths in the outbreak from 1 . 6 million cases .
Prime Minister Boris Johnson , who spent days in intensive care with Covid – 19 earlier this year , called it a “ huge step forward in the UK ’ s fight against coronavirus ” .
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock , who has offered to have the jab on live television to allay public fears , said the roll – out was a “ key moment ” that would protect the most vulnerable.
The head of the state – run National Health Service in England , Simon Stevens, said it was a “ decisive turning point ” against the “greatest health challenge” since the NHS was founded in 1948 .
Regulatory approval for the vaccine was given last Wednesday, sparking a race against time to prepare scores of vaccination centres across the country.
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The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the jab — enough to vaccinate 20 million people — with 800 , 000 in the first batch .
Up to four million doses are expected by the end of December .
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