Hari Shukla, Indian-origin man, among first in world to receive COVID-19 vaccine

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Dec 08, 2020, 11:20 AM(IST)

Hari Shukla Photograph:( Twitter )

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'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,' Shukla said

Hari Shukla, an Indian-origin man, will become one of the first people in the world to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as he is scheduled to get a shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Newcastle, the UK on Tuesday.

The 87-year-old man from Tyne and Wear says he feels it is his duty to be the first one to receive the first dose on the first day, which is being dubbed as 'V-Day' or 'Vaccination day'. "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, I feel it is my duty to do so and do whatever I can to help," Shukla said.

Also read| 'Beginning of the end' for pandemic: Britain begins roll-out of Pfizer's drug to the public

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed this 'V Day' as a "huge step forward". 

Shukla was contacted by the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as a part of the phased rollout plan, which is based at the highest risk of death from the deadly virus.

"Having been in contact with the NHS (National Health Service), I know how hard they all work and the greatest respect for them - they have a heart of gold and I am grateful for everything they have done to keep us safe during the pandemic," Shukla explained.

Also read| 'Beginning of the end' for pandemic: Britain begins roll-out of Pfizer's drug to the public

Boris Johnson, while congratulating the experts and country on this achievement, also issued a call of caution saying even though the vaccine is being rolled out, people should still take care and practice social distancing. 

"Today marks a huge step forward in the UK's fight against coronavirus, as we begin delivering the vaccine to the first patients across the whole country. I am immensely proud of the scientists who developed the vaccine, members of the public who took part in trials, and the NHS who have worked tirelessly to prepare for rollout," Johnson said.

As of now, the people over 80-years will be the ones receiving the vaccine. The UK authorities have carefully monitored the health graph of the recipients of the vaccine.

We will look back on today, V-day, as a key moment in our fight back against this terrible disease, and I am proud our health services across the United Kingdom are about to embark on our largest ever vaccination programme," said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

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