Ninety-eight-year-old Kenneth and 80-year-old Ann have become the first King’s patients to be vaccinated for COVID-19 this week.
South Londoner Kenneth Coley was vaccinated at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill and Bromley-based Ann Russell was the first to be given the vaccine at Princess Royal University Hospital.
“I’m very fortunate to have been chosen to have the vaccine, I thought I was too old,” Kenneth said. “If you want to fight the virus you have to have to get vaccinated.”
When asked if he had any nerves about the inoculation, he said: “No. I’d be stupid not to have it.”
Kenneth was given a round of applause by ward staff after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. He will have the second dose in 21 days’ time.
Ann said she was “very happy’ to be vaccinated and hoped others would follow suit.
“Seeing me get it might just encourage others to get it too,” she said. “Hopefully, the vaccine will make life better for all of us.”
Professor Clive Kay, King’s chief executive, hailed the ‘remarkable day’ for the NHS.
“We are incredibly proud to have begun vaccinating our first patients against COVID-19,” he said.
“I would like to thank our staff for their tremendous work, both to enable the rollout of the vaccination programme in such a space of time, and throughout the year to care for our patients.”
King’s College Hospital and the Princess Royal University Hospital are among 50 hubs in England that have been designated to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine.
Included in the first group of people to be vaccinated are patients aged 80 and over, including outpatients and inpatients who are soon to be discharged after a hospital stay.