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Brian Pinker, 82, receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from nurse Sam Foster at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, on Monday, January 4. Steve Parsons/Pool/AP

The first patient in the UK has received the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Brian William Pinker, 82, received the shot early Monday morning at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

“I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” he said.
“The vaccine means everything to me, to my mind it is the only way to get back to normal life. This virus is terrible, isn’t it?”

Pinker said he first knew on Saturday that he was going to get vaccinated and was told he would be the very first patient. “Took me long enough to be a star,” he said. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine rollout began today in the UK and the country’s health secretary described it as a “real pivotal moment” as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in parts of the country.

Chief Nurse Sam Foster, who administered the vaccine, said: “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 meters from where it was developed.”

Pinker is a retired maintenance manager who has been having dialysis for kidney disease at the hospital. Others should get vaccinated too because “it is a no brainer,” he said.

“The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife Shirley later this year.”

The NHS is the first health service in the world to deploy the AstraZeneca vaccine and it’s the only one approved that can be stored at fridge temperatures. The first vaccinations will be delivered at a small number of hospitals for the first few days for surveillance purposes, as is standard practice, before the bulk of supplies are sent to more GP-led services later in the week, NHS England said in a statement.