90-year-old Margaret Keenan is forever a part of history.
On Dec. 8, the nonagenarian became the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of a trial. Keenan, a mother and grandmother, was administered the vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry by nurse May Parsons.
"I feel so privileged," Keenan, who will turn 91 next week, said. "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year."
Keenan's family also celebrated their beloved matriarch and expressed their gratitude for making the vaccination possible. "We are tremendously proud of our mum and granny for stepping forward to receive the first COVID vaccine," their statement read. "The interest and well wishes we have received today as a family have been overwhelming. We would like to thank May Parsons and the whole team at the hospital for the care they have provided in recent days and of course to everyone involved in developing the lifesaving jab that our mum and granny was given this morning."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who battled coronavirus earlier this year, addressed the United Kingdom's first vaccinations for COVID-19 on Tuesday. "Thank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine, to all the volunteers - and to everyone who has been following the rules to protect others," he tweeted. "We will beat this together."
"We've got about 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine coming into this country," Johnson said in a tweeted video. "Although this is a massive, massive moment, it's not the end. People cannot afford to relax their discipline, stop doing the basics—hands, face, space."
As for Keenan, her vaccination was a day she likely will never forget.
After getting the shot, she was met in the hallway with a round of applause from staff members as she was rolled back to her ward. Meanwhile, Parsons is also a name circulating the Internet as the nurse played a significant role in giving the first vaccination early Tuesday morning.
As she told Good Morning Britain, "I'm so proud to be able to kind of contribute to that positive step toward stopping this pandemic."
"I can't thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously," Keenan said, "and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it—if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too!"