The first mass vaccination program for COVID-19 in the world began on Tuesday (8/12) in England with an injection of a 90-year-old grandmother named Margaret Keenan.
Vaccination for COVID in the UK
1. Britain started vaccinations Tuesday with a priority on seniors and health workers
2. Australian nurse in London Melissa Purcell said she would do it if she got an offer
3. Others said they didn't because the vaccine was so new
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech and Margaret Keenan is getting the injection at a Coventry hospital in central England.
"I feel proud to be the first to be vaccinated against COVID-19," said Margaret.
"It's an early birthday gift I hoped for, because it means I can spend time with my family and friends at the New Year after previously being alone this whole year."
About 800,000 doses of the vaccine will be distributed in about 70 UK hospitals, just a week since Britain became the first western country to approve the use of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
Another resident who has stated that he is willing to receive the vaccine is a nurse from Australia, Melissa Purcell, who has previously tested positive for COVID-19.
"I already have antibodies, but we don't know how long they will last and whether they will protect us," he told the ABC.
Melissa Purcell says vaccinations will make health workers feel safe at home and at work. (ABC: Nick Dole)
Despite the approval of the health authorities in the UK, some people are still unsure about the safety of the vaccine.
Stephen Lindsay, for example, told the ABC he loves to travel and worries that he won't be able to visit another country if he hasn't had the vaccine.
However, he was reluctant to be vaccinated.
"It feels too new and I don't believe it at all," he said.
"If I am going to die, that's destiny. I am happier because of natural causes. If it is because of COVID, that's what will happen."
The Australian government says the injection of the COVID-19 vaccine in the UK is "important for the world", but the vaccination program in Australia will not start as early as March 2021.
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