U.K. woman first to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

LONDON (AP)- The first recipient was grandmother Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week. She received the shot at University Hospital Coventry at 6:31 a.m.

U.K. health authorities began rolling out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval.

The first shot came early in the morning at one of a network of hospital hubs around the country where the initial phase of the U.K. program will be rolled out on what has been dubbed “V-Day.”

Public health officials are asking the public to be patient because only those who are most at risk from COVID-19 will be vaccinated in the early stages. Medical staff will contact people to arrange appointments, and most will have to wait until next year before there is enough vaccine to expand the program.

“I think there’s every chance that we will look back on … (Tuesday) as marking a decisive turning point in the battle against coronavirus,” said Simon Stevens, the CEO of England’s National Health Service.

The first 800,000 doses are going to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers. Others will have to wait their turn.

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