İrem UZUN -TDO- U.K. health authorities began rolling out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. The first recipient was grandmother Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week. The first man to receive a vaccine in the UK on Tuesday was an Englishman named William Shakespeare.

The United Kingdom has become the world's first nation to begin vaccinating its citizens with a fully vetted and authorized COVID-19 shot, a landmark moment in the coronavirus pandemic.  Margaret Keenan said the injection she received at 06:31 GMT was the "best early birthday present". Keenan told UK media the shot was "fine, I wasn't nervous at all," calling it "wonderful, really." "This is for a good cause so I'm so pleased I had it done. This is a terrible, terrible disease so we do want rid of it," she added. May Parsons, the nurse who administered the first jab, said she was honored to be involved in the program.

The UK health regulator approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on December 2. The country is the first in the West to approve and, after Tuesday, administer a COVID-19 vaccine outside clinical trials. U.S. and European Union regulators may approve it in the coming days or weeks.

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