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British grandmother says she feels great after Pfizer vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in Britain to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital, administered by nurse May Parsons, at the start of the largest ever immunization program in British history, in Coventry. Jacob King/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Margaret Keenan, the 90-year-old British grandmother who became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine outside of a trial, said she feels great after being discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

Pictures of Keenan went around the world on Tuesday as she received the shot during a short stay in her local hospital for heart checks.

Video footage showed the former jewellery shop assistant wearing a light blue mask, a grey cardigan and a blue T-shirt with a penguin in snow and the message “Merry Christmas”.

She said in a statement on Wednesday that receiving the vaccine had been “a massive day for me personally and for the rest of the world,” and she again urged others to sign up for the vaccination programme.

“It has all been such a whirlwind and everything hasn’t really sunk in yet,” she said. “I feel great and I’m so pleased to be able to go home and to spend some quality time with my family.”

Keenan, from Northern Ireland, received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot at her local hospital in Coventry, central England, at 0631 GMT on Tuesday, a week before she turns 91.

Britain is the first Western country to start immunising its population in what has been hailed as a turning point in the battle to defeat the disease. It is the worst-hit country in Europe with more than 61,000 deaths.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge