People.com Lifestyle Health U.K. Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine to 90-Year-Old Grandmother: 'I Feel So Privileged' Margaret Keenan, who will turn 91 next week, says the vaccine is "the best early birthday present I could wish for" By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 8, 2020 08:34 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Margaret Keenan receives the first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in England. Photo: JACOB KING/POOL/AFP via Getty Margaret Keenan has become the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the coronavirus vaccine. The former shop clerk, who will celebrate her 91st birthday next week, was given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at 6:31 a.m. local time on Tuesday, at University Hospital Coventry in England. One photo from Keenan's visit shows her receiving the shot, while a second sees her being pushed in a wheelchair down a hospital hallway while medical staff applauds her. Keenan wore a blue face mask for the occasion, as well as a sweet blue shirt that read "Merry Christmas" and featured a penguin in a Santa hat. "I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19," she said, according to the Associated Press. "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." CNN reports that Keenan told the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) that the experience of receiving the vaccine was "wonderful" and she "wasn't nervous" to do so, adding that it's "for a good cause" — to help in the fight against "a terrible, terrible disease." "I would say go for it," she advised others who are considering getting the vaccine and meet eligibility requirements. "If I can do it, well, so can you." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Margaret Keenan receives the COVID-19 vaccine. Jacob King - Pool/Getty Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton Say They'll Publicly Receive COVID Vaccine to Prove Safety The U.K. became the first country in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine last Wednesday when the nation's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted a temporary authorization for emergency use to the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The same vaccine has been submitted for emergency approval by the FDA in the United States and is still under review. BBC News reported Thursday that Matt Hancock, U.K. health secretary, said an initial 800,000 doses would be made available this week, with nursing home residents and staff given priority for receiving the vaccine. "Today's emergency use authorization in the U.K. marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the U.K.," Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO of Pfizer, said in a press release. "As we anticipate further authorizations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world," added Bourla. "With thousands of people becoming infected, every day matters in the collective race to end this devastating pandemic." Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images RELATED VIDEO: Pfizer Says Early Study Shows Its Potential COVID Vaccine Is 90 Percent Effective Pfizer announced last month that its phase-three study results proved the vaccine is 95 percent effective with "no serious safety concerns observed" in the trial participants. Now, the company hopes to get their vaccine — which requires two shots, given three weeks apart — approved in the U.S. and have initial doses available for distribution before the end of the year. Along with their German partner BioNTech, Pfizer went on to specify that they could have 50 million doses available this year, and 1.3 billion in 2021. The trials observed more than 43,000 participants, and the "only Grade 3 adverse event greater than 2 percent in frequency was fatigue at 3.8 percent and headache at 2.0 percent." Pfizer added the vaccine was "well tolerated across all populations." As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. 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