Filipina Nurse Makes History After Giving World’s First COVID-19 Vaccine in the UK

A Filipina British nurse took part in the historic first COVID-19 vaccination in the world, administering the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine to a patient in the U.K. on Tuesday.

Proud moment: May Parsons, who has worked with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) for 17 years, delivered the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan at a hospital in Coventry, England. 

Margaret Keenan, 90, walks with nurse May Parsons (left) after becoming the first patient in the U.K. to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo by Jacob King – Pool / Getty Images)
  • Parsons is one of the over 22,000 Filipinos currently working for the U.K.’s healthcare system.
  • In a statement released by the NHS, Parsons said she’s happy to take part in the “historic day,” which has been called “V-Day,” The Guardian reports.
  • “The last few months have been tough for all of us working in the NHS but now it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she was quoted as saying.
  • Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Parsons also said she has lots of experience administering vaccinations in her 24 years as a nurse.
  • She added that she was “very proud to say to everyone I am a Filipino-British today making history.”

Cheered online: Parsons’ participation in the event, which highlights the contributions of Filipino nurses to foreign health systems, has been lauded by many on social media.

  • British Ambassador to the Philippines, Daniel Pruce, tweeted: “Great to see that the vaccine is administered by Nurse May Parsons from the Philippines – one of the many thousands of Filipino healthcare workers making such an enormous contribution to the #NHS.”

  • U.K. State Minister Nigel Adams said it was “Great to see Matron May Parsons, originally from #Philippines deliver world’s first vaccine shot. Our NHS is proud to have such dedicated health workers.”

  • The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr, also said he was “so proud” of Parsons via a tweet.

Based on estimates reported in June, Filipino health care workers in the U.K. have been registering a disproportionate number of deaths compared to a staff of other nationalities.

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Calls for better protection were raised the month prior following reports that more U.K. health workers of Filipino heritage had died due to COVID-19 than in the Philippines, according to ITV.

Feature Image via Good Morning Britain

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