Watch Woman Become World's First Person to Have Pfizer's Approved COVID Vaccine: "I Feel so Privileged"

A 90-year-old woman in the U.K. has made history by becoming the first person to have the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.

Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said she felt "so privileged" to be the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which was found to be 95 percent effective in trials.

Keenan was vaccinated at University Hospital, Coventry, in England at 6.30am GMT (1.30am ET) on December 8, with nurse May Parsons carrying out the procedure.

"I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19, it's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year," she told BBC News.

"I can't thank May and the NHS [National Health Service] staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it—if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too."

On December 2, the U.K. became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use. The vaccine is the fastest to be developed and approved for widespread use in the West.

It is also the first vaccine based on what is known as mRNA technology to be approved for use in humans, in a development that has been welcomed by scientists.

The mRNA vaccine inserts into the body tiny fragments of the genetic code of a part of the coronavirus, enabling the immune system to build up defenses against the disease.

A mass vaccination program is now underway in the U.K., with hospital patients aged 80 and above, and NHS staff carrying out vaccinations, initially being given the highest priority.

The vaccination requires two shots, with the second "booster" injection being administered 21 days after the first. This means that the 40 million doses that have been ordered by the U.K., 10 million of which are reportedly set to arrive before the end of the year, will cover 20 million people.

The vaccine is also difficult to store, which presents an additional layer of complexity. It needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, and can be refrigerated for five days once it is thawed.

This article has been updated with additional information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

first Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccination
Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the U.K. to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry. The shot was administered by nurse May Parsons. Jacob King-Pool/Getty Images