The NHS has today (4 January) launched the rollout of the new Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, with patients at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) the very first to get the life-saving jab.
At 7.30am this morning at Oxford's Churchill Hospital, dialysis patient Brian Pinker was vaccinated by Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH (pictured above). Mr Pinker, aged 82, is a retired maintenance manager who has been having dialysis for kidney disease at the Churchill Hospital for a number of years.
Mr Pinker said: "I am so pleased to be getting the COVID vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford. The nurses, doctors and staff 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, who administered the first Oxford Vaccine, added: “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."
Dr Bruno Holthof, OUH Chief Executive Officer, added: "We are very proud that the Churchill Hospital in Oxford was chosen to be the first location to provide the Oxford Vaccine. I would like to thank all our staff who have played their part in ensuring that we can deliver the vaccine for our patients and staff, and I would also like to pay tribute to the team here in Oxford who developed this vaccine in record time."
Alongside Brian Pinker, music teacher and father-of-three Trevor Cowlett, aged 88, and Professor Andrew Pollard, a paediatrican working at OUH who also pioneered the Oxford jab, were among the first to be vaccinated today.
Professor Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: "It was an incredibly proud moment for me to have received the actual vaccine that the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca teams have worked so hard to make available to the UK and the world.
"As a paediatrician specialising in infections, I know how important it is that healthcare workers along with other priority groups are protected as soon as possible - a crucial role in defeating this terrible disease."