Margaret Keenan, 91, made headlines when she became the first person in the world to receive a COVID vaccine a year ago today, December 8, 2020.

Keenan, a native of Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, received her Pfizer jab at University Hospital in Coventry, where she’s lived for the past several decades.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the historic event, Keenan returned to UHCW to meet with May Parsons, the nurse who administered Keenan’s jab. 

On December 8, 2020, Maggie Keenan became the first person in the world to receive an approved Covid-19 jab at UHCW.

Since then the NHS has delivered almost 120 million jabs in what is a world-leading vaccination programme.


— UHCW NHS Trust (@nhsuhcw) December 8, 2021

Keenan, 91, said: "It was such a privilege and an honor to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19, everything went by in a blur. I’m not sure it will ever truly sink in."

“The staff at University Hospital, Coventry, showed me such wonderful care and compassion and I am so pleased to have remained friends with May since that day.

“Getting the vaccine gave me so much more confidence to go out to places. It’s saving lives, protecting those around us, and is helping the NHS, so what more can I say – go for it, go and have it done.”

Keenan further told the Press Association:  “It’s amazing how many people don’t want it.

“I don’t know why because they should have it… everybody should have the jab.”

She added: “I hope I’m a good example, skipping down the road.”

The same day that Keenan received her jab in Coventry last year, Joanna Sloan, a 28-year-old nurse from Co Down, became the first person in Northern Ireland - and the first person on the island of Ireland - to receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

One year ago today Sister Joanna Hogg made history when she received her #COVID19 vaccine.

Since then:
✔️Over 1.3 million people have been vaccinated
✔️More than 3 million doses have been administered
✔️90% of over 18s now vaccinated


— Department of Health (@healthdpt) December 8, 2021

Later, on December 29, 2020, 79-year-old Annie Lynch became the first person in Ireland to receive the jab.

A momentous & historical day! St James's honoured to vaccinate the first patient in Ireland, Annie Lynch, against COVID-19. Thanks to #SJH vaccinator, @dodea2011 #protectyourself #savelives #COVID19

— St James's Hospital (@stjamesdublin) December 29, 2020

A year on from the initial COVID vaccine roll-out, more than 8.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered around the world, according to today’s data from Johns Hopkins University.

In Northern Ireland, 3,149,534 vaccine doses have been administered to date, and in Ireland, 7,531,396 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date.