87-year-old Indian-origin Hari Shukla & wife 83, gets the first COVID-19 vaccine

NEW DELHI: Dr. Hari Shukla, a retired British teacher who is 87 years old and his wife Ranjan 83, is among the first people in the world to be given the COVID-19 vaccine as United Kingdom rolls out today for their citizens. Along with Shuklas' critical care physician Dr Banwari Agarwal will also be among the first to receive the vaccine, that will be rolled out in the UK.

90-year-old, Margaret Keenan, who received the shot by nurse May Parsons at her local hospital, University Hospital Coventry at 6:31 a.m, became the first person to receive the vaccine in the world.

UK became the first country to approve and authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on December 2 that will be rolled out for its citizen from today. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine approved by the UK's Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) is administered in two doses, 21 days apart.

Dr. Shukla, 87, and his wife Ranjan, 83, who are among the over-80-year-olds prioritized to receive the first of the 800,000 doses in 50 hospitals across the UK, will receive the first of the two-dose vaccine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Dr. Shukla, a retired teacher and race relations campaigner in north England, who was born in Uganda and his wife are of Indian origin and moved to the Newcastle city in 1974. He has been has spent much of his life promoting race relations both as a volunteer and professionally, for which he was awarded the coveted Order of the British Empire given to outstanding work with charitable and welfare organizations, and public service outside the civil service.

Dr. Shukla said that he was very excited when he received the phone call about the vaccine. "I'm so pleased we are hopefully coming towards the end of this pandemic and I am delighted to be doing my bit by having the vaccine," he said.

Dr. Banwari Agarwal, an ICU consultant at the Royal Free in London, said he was, "Absolutely delighted," to be one of the first people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.


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