Lister Hospital administers first COVID-19 jab to 81-year-old Stevenage man

John Deakin, 81, pictured with nurse Ruth Osis, was the first person to receive his COVID-19 vaccine at Lister Hospital in...

John Deakin, 81, pictured with nurse Ruth Osis, was the first person to receive his COVID-19 vaccine at Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - Credit: Archant

An 81-year-old man from Stevenage has been the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccination from Lister Hospital.

John Deakin was first in line for the injection this morning, receiving it shortly after 8am – and has described it as “a piece of cake”.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, is one of the first to set up a vaccination hub as part of the biggest vaccine campaign in NHS history.

The hub will focus on vaccinating local residents who are aged 80 or over and care home workers first, as well as NHS staff at the highest risk of serious illness from the virus.

Mr Deakin, who worked as a broadcast engineer before his retirement, said: “I was surprised to be the first person to be vaccinated, but it was quite exciting really – I wasn’t expecting all this.

“Having the first vaccination I was quite apprehensive, but it was a piece of cake and no problem at all. It was just a straightforward injection.

“I am very honoured to be first and think this a big step in the right direction. I am very pleased with how it’s all gone and thankful for all the hard work that has gone into it.”

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Those who are eligible for a vaccination in this first phase of the programme will be contacted to arrange an appointment. All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

Nick Carver, chief executive of the trust, said: “It is fantastic that we can play our part in what is a turning point in the battle against COVID-19.

“I am proud of my many colleagues who have made this landmark moment at the Lister possible, and would like to thank everyone for their continued efforts throughout the pandemic.

“While this is great news, I would urge the public to keep following government guidance and the principles of ‘Hands, Face, Space’ to continue to protect themselves and the community against the spread of the virus during what will be a long vaccination programme.”

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