Matt Hancock's instant reaction as first Oxford vaccine dose is given

4 January 2021, 08:42

By Fiona Jones

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gives his instant reaction as the first Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine dose is administered in the UK.

Brian Pinker, 82, has become the first person in the world - outside of trials - to receive the new Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Oxford.

Speaking on LBC as Mr Pinker received the dose, Matt Hancock said, "It's brought an enormous smile to my face."

"We've been working on this vaccine for almost a year now and to be the first in the world to get this...British science with British industrial might of AstraZeneca behind it, to get that into peoples' arms this morning is so important," he said.

"The reason why it matters to me and everybody listening is because this is our way out. These vaccines are the route back to a normal life that we all want to enjoy."

Brian Pinker, 82, became the first UK patient to receive the Oxford vaccine.
Brian Pinker, 82, became the first UK patient to receive the Oxford vaccine. Picture: PA

The health secretary continued: "I'm very proud of the scientists and the NHS who've been integral to this. I'm also really proud that we can now see our way out of this.

"It's been so hard for so long for so many people... but we can see our way through."

Mr Pinker, a dialysis patient who describes himself as Oxford born and bred, said the jab would allow him to be free to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife later this year.

"I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford," the 82-year-old said.

"The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year."

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who administered the vaccine to Mr Pinker, said: "It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine at the Churchill Hospital here in Oxford, just a few hundred metres from where it was developed.

"We look forward to vaccinating many more patients and health and care staff with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks which will make a huge difference to people living in the communities we serve and the staff who care for them in our hospitals."

Some 530,000 doses of the newly-approved vaccine are available across the UK from today, with vulnerable groups already identified as the priority for immunisation.