Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine first UK recipients detail experiences

Some recipients in UK said they felt 'privileged'

Following breaking reports early Tuesday that a 90-year-old woman became the first person in the U.K. to receive Pfizer’s recently approved coronavirus jab, additional vaccine recipients have come forward to share their experiences.

The first person, Margaret Keenan, said she felt “privileged” to get the vaccine, and the second individual, 81-year-old William Shakespeare of Warwickshire, said he was “pleased” and that staff was “wonderful,” per the BBC.

Around 800,000 doses of the vaccine were expected to be in place for the start of the immunization program on Tuesday, a day that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has dubbed “V-Day,” a nod to triumphs in World War II. The first doses will go to nursing home staff and people over age 80 as well as health and social care workers, according to the NHS website.  

Nurse May Parsons prepares 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, at University Hospital, Coventry, England, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. 

Nurse May Parsons prepares 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, at University Hospital, Coventry, England, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.  (Jacob King/Pool via AP)

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The initial wave of vaccinations on Tuesday involves 50 hospitals around England, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also begin their vaccination rollouts the same day.

A 28-year-old nurse named Joanna Sloan received the first vaccination in Northern Ireland several hours after Keenan at Royal Victoria Hospital, per the outlet.

“I’ve been waiting, looking forward to it for so long and it feels great, it feels fantastic, privileged,” she said. Sloan will also head the rollout of vaccines in Belfast. The mother of one has been working as a nurse for six years and has put her wedding on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“This feels like the last hurdle towards keeping people safe, myself and everyone around me,” she added. 

Others were more apprehensive. Craig Atkins, 48 of Ebbw Yale, became the first person vaccinated in Wales on Tuesday, just a day after the area recorded a spike of 2,000 daily cases. 

“It was a bit scary. I was the first to have this here today and it’s a bit of a leap into the unknown,” he told BBC Wales. Atkins works at a care home, has diabetes and has steered away from the flu vaccine in the past.

“I’ve kept my kids off school longer than anybody else. We didn’t want to be in quarantine and we didn’t want to take it into the nursing home,” he said.

Finally, Dr. Katie Stewart, a consultant anesthetist, was among the first health care workers vaccinated in Scotland. 

“After a very long hard year looking after patients with COVID and staying apart to protect each other, we finally have something to celebrate,” she said. She added she was “truly delighted” to stand as one the first people in the Scottish borders to receive a vaccine.

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Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.