Matt Hancock has described it as a “privilege” to get his first coronavirus vaccination at London’s Science Museum, and thanked England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, for administering the jab.
The Health Secretary tweeted a picture of the moment he was given his first dose, describing the process as quick and painless.
Mr Hancock said he was “very excited” when he was called for the jab and encouraged everyone invited for a Covid-19 vaccination to take up the offer.
The Department of Health confirmed Mr Hancock received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Alongside a picture of himself getting the injection from a masked Prof Van-Tam, he wrote: “Brilliant! Got the jab. In & out in 8 minutes. Didn’t hurt at all. Massive thanks to JVT & the @sciencemuseum team. When you get the call, get the jab!”
In a further statement, he said it had been “a privilege to get my first jab within the historic walls of the Science Museum in London, where the team are documenting the national pandemic response and preserving items like the first Covid-19 vaccine vial to be used anywhere in the world”.
He paid tribute to learning from science, saying it had been “central this last year more than ever” and that it therefore “felt fitting to be at the museum”.
He added: “Over 47 million doses have now been administered across the country, thanks not only to hundreds of hospitals, GP clinics and pharmacies, but to incredible sites like this that have volunteered their unused spaces.
“The rollout continues at pace and we are on track to reach our target of offering all adults a first dose of the vaccine by the end of July.
“I was very excited when my call came, and I’d urge everyone to take up the offer when it comes, and become part of history in the UK’s biggest ever vaccination programme.”
Downing Street said it is not aware of the “full details” around how Mr Hancock happened to get his first jab from Prof Van-Tam.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, asked whether Mr Hancock was given special treatment, told reporters: “I think a number of people have been lucky enough to be vaccinated by Professor Van-Tam.
“He does fairly regular shifts in and around the country, and so a number of people had it done (by him).
“I think he was doing a shift when the Health Secretary was vaccinated.”
Pressed on whether it was “random” that Mr Hancock received his jab from such a senior official, the No 10 spokesman added: “I don’t know the full details.”
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