The first care home residents have had doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine brought to them as it was rolled out to GP surgeries.
It is the Government’s aim to offer coronavirus vaccines to all elderly residents, who are at the top of the vaccine priority list, by the end of the month.
Ten residents at Sunrise of Frognal care home in Sidcup, south-east London, received their first jab on Thursday afternoon.
Among them was Ellen Prosser, 100, who said getting the vaccine was “easy”.
The widower and mother-of-six, who is known as Nell, said: “It didn’t hurt at all – I really didn’t feel a thing. I’m very, very pleased, because it’s been very well tested.”
Dr Nikki Kanani, a GP and NHS medical director for primary care, who carried out the vaccinations, said they will help people “reclaim” their lives.
She said: “Today’s an emotional day.
“When we had our first patient vaccinated that was emotional, as we spread into more and more parts of the country that’s emotional because our colleagues are working genuinely day and night to get this out – our general practice teams’ nurses, pharmacists, people in front of the patient, but people either in the background doing the phone calls calling patients as well, people working on logistics – it’s really quite incredible.”
She appealed to people who are called on to “please, please get your vaccine”, adding: “The vaccines that have been approved by the regulatory body, the MHRA, have been tested really, really thoroughly.
“They’ve been tested on tens of thousands of people and now more than a million people have had their vaccination.
“It’s really important that you get your vaccine because that is our hope, that is our chance to reclaim our lives, and that is the way that we’re going to protect our loved ones as well.”