History has been made today as the Island's first covid-19 vaccination clinic opened its doors.
Carisbrooke Health Centre, in Carisbrooke Road, Newport, is the first site on the Isle of Wight to begin vaccinating people in what is the biggest immunisation programme in the nation's history.
The first patient through the doors was Kenneth Killeen, 98, from Newport.
Mr Killeen, who served in the RAF during World War Two, was the first Island person to receive the vaccination.
He said: “It's not been an easy year for anyone – particularly with lockdown. A lot of elderly people were confined in their homes.
“I didn't expect to be front of the queue, but very pleased to be. I fully respect people who won't want it on various grounds, but if you can you should.
“Particularly when you think of medical science now to how it was 98 years ago when I arrived.”
Mr Killeen, who has two children, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, received his vaccination at 1.46pm.
Giving the vaccination was Dr Myrto Kaklamanou, GP at Carisbrooke Health Centre, and clinical director of the Central and West Health Alliance Primary Care Network.
She said: “This has been a really busy, but a very exciting, week for us and we are proud to be delivering the covid-19 vaccination.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer the vaccination to island patients, and I really want to say thank you to the whole GP practice team and our partners, who have done an incredible job and standing up this clinic so quickly.
“I am so proud to be working with such supportive colleagues who pulled out all the stops to get us going.
“Of course though, we know that this will be a marathon and not a sprint. While it's great we can start the vaccination programme, we know that the virus will still be in the community for many more months.
“This is why it's important we continue to follow government guidance, that we wear face coverings, wash our hands and observe social distancing.”
The latest phase of the vaccine rollout is being co-ordinated by GP-led primary care networks with more practices and community pharmacies in other parts of England joining on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.
Andrea Finch, lead practice nurse, said: “It's really exciting that we are one of the first GP hubs in the country to offer the vaccination and such a privilege to be able to vaccinate patients.
“Although the vaccine has been developed very quickly, we know there is still a way to go, so we all need to carry on with what we're doing and remember hands – face – space.”
All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.
Being the first health system in the World to deliver a vaccine is the latest in a long line of “firsts” for the NHS, which has led the world in numerous innovations including:
- 1948: The NHS was the world's first universal health care system
- 1949: First tuberculosis vaccine was routinely offered to nurses in 1949.
- 1958: The NHS delivers first mass vaccination programme, with everyone under the age of 15 vaccinated against polio and diphtheria.
- 1962: NHS Professor Sir John Charnley completes the first full hip replacement.
- 1972: The world's first CT scan on a patient was carried out at Atkinson Morley Hospital, in Wimbledon, now part of St George's Hospital
- 1978: The world's first baby is born as a result of in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
- 1987: The world's first combined liver, heart and lung transplant is carried out at Cambridgeshire's Papworth Hospital
- 1988: The MMR vaccine first introduced in 1988. Before this there were between 160,000 to 800,000 measles cases a year – piloted in Somerset, Fife and North Herts.
- 1999: The Meningitis C vaccine was first introduced in 1999, the UK was the first country in the world to offer the jab on a national level thanks to the NHS.
- 2010: British pensioner Kenneth Crocker, 70, was the world's first patient to have heart surgery using a fully remote-controlled robotic arm. The operation took place at the NHS's Glenfield Hospital, Leicestershire.
- 2016: Two NHS patients in England became some of the first in the world to benefit from pioneering hand and upper arm transplants.
- 2019: World's first gene therapy operation for common cause of sight loss carried out by researchers in Oxford last February.
- 2020: NHS became the world's first national health system to commit to become 'carbon net zero' in October this year.