Nursing staff at heart of COVID-19 vaccine rollout as first injections given today

8 Dec 2020

It’s a proud moment for the profession as nurses are the first to administer and receive the vaccine.

Nurse May Parsons, right, administers the UK's first COVID-19 vaccine to Margaret Keenan in Coventry on 8th December 2020

The biggest vaccine campaign in NHS history kicked off this morning with nurse May Parsons (pictured above, right) the first to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the UK following its clinical approval. 

The eyes of the world were on May as she gave the jab to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan at her local hospital in Coventry. 

May, who has worked in the NHS for the last 24 years, said it was a huge honour to be the first person in the UK to deliver a COVID-19 jab to a patient. 

“I’m just glad that I’m able to play a part in this historic day,” she said. “The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS, but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

In Northern Ireland, where the first doses of the vaccine were given to those involved in delivering the vaccination programme, senior nurse Joanna Sloan was the first to receive the vaccine at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. 

In Scotland, deputy charge nurse Katie McIntosh was among the first to administer jabs to her health care colleagues at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

In Wales, care home worker Craig Atkins was among the first to receive the jab at a vaccination site in Cwmbran.

Speaking about the momentous day, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “I’m incredibly proud that nursing staff will be at the very heart of the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Nursing staff know that with every vaccination they give, this dreadful situation moves that little bit closer to its end. This unprecedented rollout plan relies most heavily on nursing staff in all settings and they feel great responsibility and pride today."

The RCN has released guidance about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and how it will affect nursing staff. This covers who should administer the vaccine and which groups will be prioritised to receive it. 

Image credit: Pool/Pool via Getty Images

Page last updated - 17/05/2021