One of the first people to receive a Covid-19 jab as part of the national vaccination programme in the UK told Prime Minister Boris Johnson it was “all for Britain”.
Lyn Wheeler, 81, from Bromley, south-east London, was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine at Guy’s Hospital on Tuesday morning.
She was given the vaccine in front of Mr Johnson, who was visiting the hospital’s vaccination centre to meet some of the first people to receive it.
Mrs Wheeler was given a round of applause after having the jab and, asked by the Prime Minister how it had been, said: “It’s all for Britain.”
She said it had been “lovely” to take part in the vaccination programme, adding: “It’s all a bit unreal at the moment but it’s lovely to take part in what I feel is very valuable work.
“We have got to do something, we can’t go on as we are. We can’t continually go around being afraid to go to the shops or being afraid to sit on a bus.”
Mrs Wheeler said she hoped her having the vaccination will encourage other people to have it too.
She added: “You have got to realise that life is a bit of a risk and you can’t keep hiding away, you have to stand up and go for things.
“I’m going for it because I feel there’s no other way forward, we can’t keep sitting in our houses.”
Dr Doreen Browne, 86, from Pimlico, central London, said she felt “honoured and privileged” to have been given the coronavirus vaccination.
“I think it’s terribly important to have the vaccination,” she said. “All this nonsense about anti-vaccination, I think, is a disaster.
“It’s very dangerous, I’m very pro-vaccination, I think we’re so privileged to have it.”
Speaking after the visit, Mr Johnson said it was “very, very exciting” to meet some of the first people to have the Covid-19 jab.
“It was very, very exciting just to talk to Lyn about the vaccine that she has just taken,” he said.
“She is 81 and it is really very moving to hear her say she is doing it for Britain, which is exactly right – she is protecting herself but also helping to protect the entire country.”
The Prime Minister also said people should not be afraid to get vaccinated and that those objecting to having it are “totally wrong”.
“To all those who are scared, don’t be. You have seen Lyn take it, you have seen people take the vaccine this morning in large numbers.
“There’s nothing to be nervous about.
“What I would say is that there are those obviously who feel that a vaccine is something they object to politically or for ideological reasons.
“I think they are totally wrong. It’s safe, it’s the right thing to do, it’s good for you and it’s good for the whole country.”
Support The Courier today.
The Courier is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever — which is why our key content is free. However, you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Courier from just £5.99 a month. Because Local Matters.Subscribe