First North East patients receive Covid vaccine on what is being dubbed "V-Day"

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An 87-year-old man has become the first person in the North East to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Dr Hari Shukla was given a sticker after the jab at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle as he became one of the first people in the country to be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

He travelled to the RVI with his wife Ranjan, who also received the jab in the arm.

Dr Hari and Ranjan Shukla Credit: PA

Dr Shulka was born in Uganda and came to this country in 1974, working in race relations, and was the director of the Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council. The father-of-four, who has nine grandchildren, has been honoured with a CBE for his work in race relations, and has supported numerous charities in voluntary roles.

Nurse Suzanne Medows said "Congratulations" after she injected him in the left arm, and there was a ripple of applause. She then said he could make his grandchildren jealous by having a sticker they did not have - one which read "I've had my Covid vaccination".

The 90 year-old was applauded as she left the ward after becoming the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: PA

A 90-year-old grandmother who became the very first person to have the Pfizer jab has said she hopes others will "do what I did".

Margaret Keenan, who is marking her 91st birthday on Tuesday next week, said: "Hopefully it'll help other people come along and do what I did, and try and do the best to get rid of this terrible thing."

Margaret was given the jab by nurse May Parson. Credit: PA

Mrs Keenan, known to family and friends as Maggie, received the very first dose from nurse May Parsons at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Mrs Keenan, who only retired from her job in a jewellers four years ago, said she was all to happy to be the first person to receive the vaccine.

Jabs will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs across the country from today - dubbed "V-Day" by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Mr Hancock said he feels conflicted emotions at the start of a coronavirus vaccination programme, saying he was thrilled to see Margaret Keenan become the first person to receive Pfizer's Covid-19 jab.

Only last week, Kaylee Davidson-Olley told ITV News Tyne Tees that she couldn't wait for the vaccination so she could finally stop shielding. Now, as the first people in the country get their vaccines, she still hasn't been told how long the wait will be.

In 1987, she became the first baby in Europe to successfully receive a heart transplant and has since made it her mission to raise awareness of organ donation.

Back in March, Kaylee made a national plea for people to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Today, she listed what she's most excited about post-vaccination.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has dubbed today "V-Day" as mass vaccination is rolled out Credit: PA

Mr Hancock added that he hopes "several million" people will have been vaccinated by Christmas, but stressed the need for everyone to "stick at" the restrictions.

Speaking to UK media this morning Matt Hancock also said the Government will be releasing figures on the number of people receiving a Covid-19 jab as the vaccination programme is rolled out.