Indian-origin Hari Shukla, 87, first to get coronavirus vaccine in UK

Indian-origin Hari Shukla, 87, first to get coronavirus vaccine in UK

An Indian-origin man, Hari Shukla, will become one of the first persons in the world to be administered a coronavirus vaccine against the Covid-19 infection when he receives the Pfizer-BioNTech shot at a hospital in the United Kingdon (UK) on Tuesday.

With the UK giving Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine its approval for emergency use, Hari Shukla from Tyne and Wear said he was pleased to know the world was coming to the end of the year-long pandemic with the beginning of the vaccinations.

Hari Shukla said when he received the phone call and notified about joining the immunisation against coronavirus programme, he was very excited to be part of it. Hari Shukla said he feels it is his duty to receive his first of the two-dose coronavirus vaccine.

“When I received a telephone call, I was very excited that I got the opportunity of joining in and taking part,” Hari Shukla was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“I’m so pleased we are hopefully coming towards the end of this pandemic and I am delighted to be doing my bit by having the vaccine, I feel it is my duty to do so and do whatever I can to help,” Hari Shukla told PTI.

“It’s a big relief because it’s not an ordinary crisis,” Hari Shukla said, adding, “I’m not nervous, or anything like that. I’m looking forward.”

People aged 80 and over, care home workers, as well as NHS workers who are at higher risk, will be first in line to receive the “life-saving jab”.

Britain will start dispensing the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday. About 800,000 doses are expected to be available within the first week, with care home residents and carers, the over 80s and some health service workers the top priority to receive the shots.

The mass inoculation programme could fuel optimism the world may be turning a corner in the fight against the pandemic that has crushed global economies and killed more than 1.5 million people.

Ahead of the roll-out of the vaccines, UK PM Boris Johnson said, “Today marks a huge step forward in the UK’s fight against coronavirus, as we begin delivering the vaccine to the first patients across the whole country. I am immensely proud of the scientists who developed the vaccine, members of the public who took part in trials, and the NHS who have worked tirelessly to prepare for rollout.”

However, the UK PM struck a note of caution to warn that mass vaccination will take time and urged the public to remain “clear-eyed” and continue to follow the lockdown rules over the winter months ahead.

The NHS said it is undertaking the biggest and most highly anticipated immunisation campaign in history at 50 hospital hubs, with more starting vaccinations over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up after the first set of doses arrived from Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium.

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