• By The Financial District


Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Early Tuesday morning, Margaret Keenan, 90, a former jewelry shop assistant, became the first person anywhere in the world to receive a clinically authorized, fully tested coronavirus vaccine. She was given the shot at a hospital in Coventry, in central England.

Fittingly, she is an early riser, the National Health Service said in a news release. “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19,” Ms. Keenan said. “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.”

Health workers began administering the shots six days after British regulators leapt ahead of the United States to become the first Western country to authorize a coronavirus vaccine, part of a global sprint to end a pandemic that has killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide.

In its first batch, Britain has received 800,000 doses of the vaccine, the government said. Packed in 975-dose trays at ultracold temperatures, the vaccine has been transported in recent days from a manufacturing plant in Belgium to government warehouses in Britain, and then to hospitals.