87-year-old grandad is the first person in Leicestershire to be given the new Covid-19 vaccination
He said he hoped it would mean he could soon hug his grandchildren, who he hasn’t been able to see during the nine-month pandemic
A “chuffed” grandad has become the first patient in Leicestershire to be given the new PfizerBioNTech Covid-19 vaccination.
David Brindley, 87, a father-of-three, said he was “honoured” to be the first person to get the trailblazing jab locally.
The grandad-of-nine said he hoped it would mean he could soon hug his grandchildren, who he hasn’t been able to see during the nine-month pandemic.
The pensioner was treated as the vaccine is poised to be rolled out at medical centres and other sites across Harborough over the next few weeks.
The vaccine was given to David, from Glenfield, at Leicester General Hospital on Saturday (December 12).
David received the first of almost 1,000 doses set to be administered over the next few days.
Immediate priority is being given to patients aged over 80 who are already attending hospital as an outpatient or being discharged home after a hospital stay.
NHS and care home staff facing the greatest risk from the coronavirus will also be among the first to be vaccinated.
David is the founder and chair of New Dawn Family Support Service.
The charity supports carers, individuals, families and young people with life limiting and serious illnesses.
“I’m chuffed to be honest.
“I wasn’t expecting it but the vaccine is really great news for everyone. “Like most older people I’ve spent a lot of time self-isolating and have really missed spending time with my family,” said David.
“I’m just hoping that this means I will soon be able to give each of my grandchildren a really big hug.
“I’ve missed that.”
The groundbreaking vaccine, which is injected into the patient’s upper arm, was given by Senior Occupational Health Nurse Cathy Brough.
She said it was a “proud moment” she would remember for the rest of her life.
Rebecca Brown, acting chief executive of University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “It has been a remarkable effort by everyone to get our hospital hub up and running and we are so grateful to them.
“It has been wonderful to be here today and see and feel the hope and optimism as we take these next steps against the virus.
“Meeting David, the first patient to receive the vaccine locally, and seeing the first jab administered was an honour.”
She added: “While this is a momentous moment we also know it is only the beginning.
“Over the coming weeks the local vaccination programme will ramp up significantly, first through this hospital hub and soon from GP-led community vaccine centres.
“Together they will mean that we will be in a position to deliver thousands of vaccinations every week to people across the area.”
But Rebecca warned the battle to beat the virus is still being fought.
“Covid-19 remains a real threat and we must all remain vigilant.
“We still have too many people in our hospitals who have tested positive for the disease.
“It will take a number of months to complete the programme as more vaccine becomes available,” she said.
“In the meantime it is essential we don’t let our guard down and that we all continue to do everything we can to follow any local Covid restrictions.
“That includes adhering to social distancing guidance, washing hands regularly, and wearing a face covering.”
People will be contacted by the NHS when they become eligible and are being invited for vaccination.
Because of the complexity of the programme this will take some time.
For further information about Covid vaccinations visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/