Unpaid carer becomes first Briton to receive Moderna vaccine

Rod Minchin, PA
·4-min read

An unpaid carer has become the first Briton in the UK to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Elle Taylor, from Ammanford, got the jab at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen.

The 24-year-old works at a further education college in Llanelli as well as caring for her 82-year-old grandmother.

She received the jab from staff nurse Laura French at the hospital’s outpatients department.

Speaking afterwards, Miss Taylor said: “I’m very excited and very happy.

“I’m an unpaid carer for my grandmother so it is very important to me that I get it, so I can care for her properly and safely.

“My grandmother has had her first dose and she is going for her second dose on Saturday.”

Coronavirus – Wed Apr 7, 2021
Pharmacists carry a cooler containing the Moderna vaccine at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen (Jacob King/PA)

Miss Taylor said she only found out on Tuesday evening that she was to be the first Briton to receive the Moderna jab in the UK.

“It was great, the nurses were lovely and it didn’t hurt,” she said.

She said she was aware of concerns about patients receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine developing blood clots but was not worried.

“I had heard but it doesn’t concern me too much, and I guess if it happens, it happens and I am in the right care if I need it, and I feel happy that I’ve tried the new one,” she said.

Asked how she felt to be a trailblazer for millions of other people, Miss Taylor said: “I feel thrilled and really happy and honoured, and I just hope it goes well for everybody.”

The Moderna vaccine is the third of its kind to be administered in the UK after Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca (Jacob King/PA)
The Moderna vaccine is the third to be administered in the UK after the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs (Jacob King/PA)

The UK has bought 17 million doses of that vaccine – enough for 8.5 million people.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “delighted we can start the UK rollout of the Moderna vaccine in west Wales today”.

He added: “The UK Government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination programme has shown our country working together at its best.”

Wales Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “This is another key milestone in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The rollout will start in England “as soon as possible this month”, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said, but added that commercial sensitivities prevent further disclosures.

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Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday that the Moderna jab would be deployed “around the third week of April”.

In Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) became the country’s first health board to roll out the Moderna vaccine at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first batch of Moderna vaccines arrived in the country on Monday and will be delivered over the coming months.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s director of public health, said: “This is another milestone for our Covid vaccination programme.

“Our vaccinators have been working tirelessly to ensure that our staff and members of the public can receive their vaccination swiftly and safely.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to add this third vaccine to our vaccination programme and we look forward to welcoming more members of the public to The Hydro to receive their vaccination in the weeks to come.”

It has not been confirmed when the rollout of Moderna will begin in Northern Ireland.

More than 31 million first doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in the UK, according to Government data up to April 5, while more than five million second doses have been given out.

The trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in children has been paused while regulators investigate reports of a rare form of blood clot among adults.