Anthony Moore, an 82-year-old retired bricklayer, received his jab at the Northern General Hospital today, Tuesday, December 8, as the UK began its biggest ever vaccination programme.
“I think it is great I have been given the chance to have the vaccine. It feels like winning the pools to me, it’s fantastic that the vaccine programme is starting so quickly and I feel very lucky,” said Anthony, who has been unable to go out during the pandemic due to ill health, and has missed seeing his great-grandsons.
“Having the vaccine was no problem at all, everyone at the hospital was amazing and I would encourage everyone to have the vaccine when it is their turn over the next few weeks and months as it rolls out.”
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals was selected as one of more than 50 NHS hubs around the country to begin administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from today after it was approved for use in the UK in what was a world-first.
Patients aged 80 and over who are already attending hospital as an outpatient are the first to be vaccinated there, with any unfilled appointments being used for healthcare workers who are at the highest risk of serious illness from Covid-19.
Trixie Walker, an 83-year-old former school laboratory technician living in Sheffield, was another patient to receive the vaccine on a day described as a turning point in the UK’s fight against coronavirus.
“The opportunity to receive the vaccine is amazing. I feel very fortunate, and I am so very grateful,” she said.
“We have not seen our grandchildren for almost a year which has been so hard but now that people are starting to get the vaccine we are one step closer to being able to see them again hopefully by spring next year.
“We will still keep following all the guidelines even though I have had the vaccine to make sure we keep everyone safe.”
The vaccinations began during the week Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is set to care for its 3,000th Covid-19 patient.
Since treating its first coronavirus patient in February, it has worked with other NHS trusts across the country to run major clinical trials of different treatments and potential vaccines for the virus.
Kirsten Major, the trust’s chief executive, said: “This is a moment in history and there has been a real sense of optimism and excitement here today as we started to vaccinate the first patients.
“Over the coming weeks and months the vaccine will be offered either through hospitals like ours, GPs or community vaccination centres.
“We would ask people to bear with us and wait until they are called for their vaccine, rather than calling us or their GP.
“It is also crucial that we all continue to stay vigilant and follow the hands, face and space guidelines in the coming weeks and months until the majority of people are vaccinated.
“We are incredibly proud of all our staff and those in the wider NHS, who have been outstanding throughout the pandemic, and yet again have stepped up to the challenge of this world first vaccination programme.”