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Among the first people to get the Covid-19 vaccine was a man whose wife had died just a week earlier after contracting the virus.
Rae Whitehead, 79, died on 1 December, days after she tested positive for coronavirus in her care home in east Yorkshire.
On Tuesday, just seven days later, the NHS began its mass vaccination programme across the UK and her widower, Edward, 84, became one of the first in the world to receive the jab at Middlesbrough’s James Cook hospital.
The couple’s son, Dr David Whitehead, 49, a consultant ENT surgeon in Middlesbrough, said he felt “potential relief” that his father had been vaccinated, but “heartbreak” that his mother could not be saved.
He told the PA news agency: “My father and I are deeply saddened that, had we not put my mother in a nursing home … she would maybe be alive today and could have had the vaccine today.
“Her life slipped away – a week later the vaccine is being rolled out.”
David Whitehead said his mother, who had worked as a civil servant before having children, had spent her life “looking after us and the family”, adding that “she devoted herself to us”.
He said he too had contracted coronavirus in March, and had suffered from a high temperature and a “sensation as if my head was being boiled alive”.
He described the start of the phased NHS rollout of the vaccine as “a great day” and said he felt proud.
“This is the good thing about the NHS,” he said. “Because it’s nationalised, we have this ability and power to have these interactions with the large pharmaceutical companies so that this sort of thing can happen.
“I feel quite proud that we’ve managed to approve it, a vaccine from a trial, so quickly. It’s a great day and I think it will probably protect a great deal of people.”
On Tuesday, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan from Coventry became the first patient in the world to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine after its approval in the UK, marking the start of a historic mass vaccination programme, the largest in the NHS’s 73-year history.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Man receives Pfizer vaccine days after wife dies from Covid-19 | Vaccines and immunisation