A beaming smile on her face, Sheila Page declared it “one of the best Christmas presents” in her life.
Sheila Page, 84, became the first person in the Humber, Coast and Vale region to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Sheila, who has seven grandchildren and eight great-children, said: “I couldn’t wait. People who don’t want it are silly. I was absolutely chuffed when they rang me to offer me it.
“I think it’s marvellous. I feel on top of the world, and it’s one of the best Christmas presents I’ve had.”
Hospital sister Kristy Costa, who normally works in the cardiology department at Castle Hill Hospital but is one of the team of trained vaccinators at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, delivered the first vaccine to Sheila.
Kristy said: “I was really excited but a bit nervous today. It’s not your average day at work with all the television cameras around.
“But it’s a great day. I’ll definitely be getting the vaccine when it’s my turn because it’s the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sheila was one of the first of the priority groups including the over 80s, care home workers and clinically extremely vulnerable members of NHS staff to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
These priority groups have been determined by the Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) because they are at greatest risk from Covid-19.
As more supplies of the vaccine are received, the programme will be rolled out to other groups, including frontline NHS staff, using that national framework.
Chief Nurse Beverley Geary, Senior Responsible Officer for the programme in the Humber, Coast and Vale region, said: “We are proud to be playing our part in the national effort to protect people from this virus.
“We will start vaccinating people over 80 who are coming to our hospital for outpatient appointments from today and we are working with local authorities to identify care home staff who can receive the vaccine and protect residents in their care.
“But it is important to say that while we are moving fast, this will be a marathon, not a sprint. The Pfizer vaccine is complex to move, store and prepare – that’s why initially it will be given in hospitals.
“We are working as quickly as possible with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and others to agree ways of expanding the programme and deliver it in more ways over the coming days and weeks, like through local vaccination services delivered by GPs, pharmacists and practice nurses and in people’s homes and care homes if they can’t come to us.”