Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother who turns 91 next week, became the first person to receive a dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. She was given the shot at the UK's University Hospital Coventry at 6:31 a.m. She said she felt "so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19."
"It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means 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 remarked.
Here in the U.S., the FDA is meeting on Thursday to discuss Pfizer's emergency authorization request. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine candidate, which was developed in partnership with BioNTech, proved to be 95 percent effective and with "no serious safety concerns," a company statement read.
"The meeting presentations will be heard, viewed, captioned, and recorded through an online teleconferencing platform," the FDA's agenda for Thursday reads. "On December 10, 2020, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research’s (CBER), Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet in open session to discuss Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older."
A second candidate, developed by Moderna, was over 94 percent effective. They too have requested an emergency authorization and the FDA will be meeting about that vaccine on Dec. 17.
"I think there's every chance that we will look back on...(Tuesday) as marking a decisive turning point in the battle against coronavirus," Simon Stevens, the CEO of England's National Health Service, said after the first dose was administered.
By the way, the second person to get a dose of the Pfizer vaccine in the UK is an 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare. Seriously.
Second patient to get the COVID jab at University Hospital Coventry - would you believe it....William Shakespeare from Warwickshire pic.twitter.com/y0LzxgbJ9w— Hugh Pym (@BBCHughPym) December 8, 2020