First people receive Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations as programme rolls out in Birmingham – Birmingham Live

A loving couple was among the first people to receive the coronavirus vaccine as a major programme is launched in Birmingham.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination programme kicked off at University Hospitals Birmingham on Saturday, December 12, with husband and wife David and Shirley Lihou the first to receive the jab.

The couple, both aged 85 and from Harborne, were vaccinated at the same time in neighbouring cubicles in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham vaccination ‘hub’ at 11.45am.

Shirley, who admitted she was “a bit apprehensive” before the injection, said afterwards: “I didn’t feel a thing.”

Senior Nurse Sara Wood vaccinating Mrs Shirley Lihou
(Image: Handout)

The couple, who met 64 years ago at the University of Birmingham when David was studying chemical engineering and Shirley was working in the music department, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year but were forced to cancel their party and a cruise.

Now they are looking forward to resuming their travels again.

Keen sailor David, who crossed the Atlantic when he was 75, said: “We try to go somewhere every month and we want to be able to travel. We’ve got a catamaran in Plymouth but we haven’t been able to go there for a long time.”

Shirley added: “We’re getting on a bit now so we need to make the most of it.”

They are also hoping to visit their daughter Joanne and two grandsons who live in Perth, Australia, next Christmas. The couple’s first daughter, Corinne, who had Down’s Syndrome, sadly died in 2004.

Another couple among the first patients to be vaccinated today were Santokh Singh Saran, aged 83 and his wife Hardial Kaur, 81.

The couple, from Selly Oak, attended the vaccination hub with their son Amarpal Singh Saran.

Mr Saran, a retired maths teacher who worked at Bishop Challenor College said: “Having the vaccine is a good precaution because we are vulnerable. It didn’t hurt at all. It was just a small scratch.”

Mr and Mrs Lihou after their vaccination with Chief Executive Dr David Rosser
(Image: Handout)

He said he and his wife are looking forward to seeing his daughter and grandchild, who live in London, and that he is also hoping to go back to India to visit relatives.

University Hospitals Birmingham took delivery of its first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, December 11.

This initial supply of vaccines will first be offered to eligible patients over the age of 80.

The vaccination programme will be rolled out more widely to health and social care staff and through the primary care networks as supplies are made available and operational details are confirmed.

As there are nationally agreed eligibility criteria for the vaccine, individuals cannot book an appointment until they have been contacted and formally advised to do so.

Unless contacted, there is nothing that anyone needs to do at this time and they should not contact their hospital or their GP.