December 8, 2020 2.05 pm This story is over 41 months old

Woman, 84, first to get COVID-19 vaccine in Lincolnshire

Retired NHS worker leads the way

An 84-year-old retired NHS worker was the first person in Lincolnshire to get the new COVID-19 vaccine.

Janet Judson from Lincoln received the coronavirus jab on Tuesday morning at Lincoln County Hospital.

She said: “I’m so grateful to have been asked to have it. It’ll make a real difference actually. It will give me a chance for a few more years hopefully.”

Lead nurse Leanne Belton said it was an “absolute honour” to give Mrs Judson the vaccine.

ULHT is one of the first 50 hubs across England to begin the mass vaccination programme after it was approved by regulators last week.

The UK is the first country to offer the Pfizer jab, but this won’t mean Lincolnshire can avoid a tier 3 lockdown Christmas. Here is who will get the vaccine first.

ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan said: “This is a really important day for the NHS. It is the start of the biggest roll-out of a vaccination programme that this country has ever seen and I think it is a turning point in our collective fight against the pandemic.

“We are absolutely delighted that our first patients, our first care home staff and our first members of the NHS family are being vaccinated today.

“This is clearly a marathon and not a sprint, but we do have to start somewhere and I am delighted that United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the first sites to begin the vaccination programme in the country.”

ULHT Chief Executive Andrew Morgan. | Photo: ULHT

The first person in the UK to get the vaccine was 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, she was followed shortly by 81-year-old William Shakespeare.

Some 800,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be dispensed nationwide in the coming days with up to four million more expected to arrive in stock by the end of the month.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said he was “thrilled” about the news but warned the UK population should stick with the rules for some time yet.

“Tuesday marks the start of the fightback against our common enemy, the coronavirus,” he said.

He added the rollout of vaccinations would take a number of months and that it would not be until spring or summer next year that life would start to return to normal.

Health secretary Matt Hancock.

Assistant director for public health at Lincolnshire County Council Tony McGinty said Christmas had come early and called the vaccine a “red letter day”.

“Assuming the vaccines are as effective in big populations as they have been in testing, then this is the beginning of the end for coronavirus being able to cause the havoc that it’s caused for most of this year,” he said.

He said the news was “testament” to the work scientists had been able to do building on the basic science.

“The speed with which our NHS colleagues have managed to get this from approval to actually being available to go into the arms of local people will go down in history probably as one of the fastest mass public health mobilisations this country has ever seen.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director of public health Tony McGinty.

He said he understood some people were worried, but moved to reassure them that none of the steps around safety, trialling and licensing had been skipped.

“The science that this vaccine is based on is not brand new and has not been rushed out, the science has been around for a long time,” he added.

Mr McGinty is not on the list of initial receivers but expects to be added soon due to his role in public health.

However, he said: “I’m confident that the vaccine is safe, and if I were eligible for this first round of vaccine I would be getting that vaccine today.”