ONE year ago today, Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.

Since December 8, 2020, 118.6 million Covid-19 vaccines have been given in the UK, including 20.9 million boosters, according to data from the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

The data covers the period up to Monday, December 6.

Yesterday, Mrs Keenan, a mother of two and grandmother of four from Coventry in the West Midlands, said: "The best Christmas present I could have is being in good health and having had the jab and feeling free from this horrible virus."

The 91-year-old was speaking at University Hospital Coventry, where she received the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as part of the country's mass vaccine rollout.

Reflecting on her historic vaccine, Mrs Keenan said: "It felt great, honestly, I could not believe that things went so well afterwards.

"At the time I wasn’t feeling good but once I got that jab and things started to be better, so I had a wonderful year – thanks to the NHS."

Mrs Keenan, who only retired from her job in a jeweller’s six years ago, added: "It’s amazing how many people don’t want it.

"I don’t know why because they should have it… everybody should have the jab.

"I hope I’m a good example, skipping down the road."

She was joined at the hospital by May Parsons, the patron who delivered the jab, who warned that unvaccinated young people and pregnant women were "gambling with their lives" by not getting vaccinated.

Somerset County Gazette: REUNITED: Nurse May Parsons (left) and Margaret Keenan at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (Image: Jacob King, PA Wire)REUNITED: Nurse May Parsons (left) and Margaret Keenan at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (Image: Jacob King, PA Wire)

Ms Parsons, who is in charge of the hospital’s Covid wards, urged unvaccinated people to come forward after seeing people "who are young and fit and healthy, with no medical history, being really terribly ill with Covid".

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: "Maggie’s jab marked the launch of the world’s first national vaccination programme. Watched around the globe, it was a moment of hope after months of fear."

Across Somerset’s six local authority areas, over 1.5 million doses have been administered in total.

The Government's data gives a breakdown of the total number of vaccinations received in each Somerset district. 

The data also shows the percentages of people to have received each dose of the vaccine by district, which means they can be compared more meaningfully as it takes their populations into account. 

The figures show the percentages of the population aged 12 and over that have received their first, second and booster doses in each district.  

South Somerset has the highest uptake rate for people aged 12 and over for first and second vaccine doses (87.3 per cent and 81.2 per cent respectively).

North Somerset has the highest percentage of people who have received their booster (42.4 per cent), and Bath and North East Somerset has the lowest (33.1 per cent).

Mendip has seen the second-lowest rate of vaccination uptake after Bath and North East Somerset. 

Today, Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton asked Boris Johnson "what steps the Government is taking to ensure more centres are available, particularly in rural areas" at Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs). 

The prime minister responded: "Amongst the heroes of the vaccine rollout are pharmacists up and down the country, and we have 1,500 community pharmacies vaccinating people near where they live.

"I know that the NHS are considering the need to support more pop-up clinics where there’s a need." 

Mr Warburton's question came after he issued a statement on Monday, which said: "Media reports indicate that more than 300,000 housebound Britons have yet to receive their Covid-19 booster and many elderly and vulnerable people are up to 10 weeks overdue for their third dose. 

"I've been contacted by an increasing number of constituents in this position, unable to get a booster due to the lack of local vaccination centres and lack of boosters being administered to the housebound or those needing special care.

"Others in my constituency simply have little or no access to transport and the booster centres are often an enormous distance away and impossible for them to reach."

Mr Warburton's constituency covers parts of the Mendip and South Somerset districts. 

Sedgemoor has the highest percentage gap between first and second doses received in the county (6.5 per cent), while North Somerset has the lowest gap (5.7 per cent). 

Across the UK, 86.8 per cent of the population aged 12 and over had received their first vaccine dose by December 6. 

A further 81.1 per cent have been given their second jab, and 42.4 per cent have received their booster. 

The anniversary of Mrs Keenan's jab has come amid controversy surrounding a Christmas party that reportedly took place in Downing Street on December 18 last year, when London was in tier three of lockdown restrictions.

Allegra Stratton - a Government advisor and former spokesperson for the prime minister - resigned this afternoon after a leaked video published by ITV showed her and other members of Downing Street staff joking about the alleged party, making references to "cheese and wine" and a lack of social distancing. 

Read more: PM responds to Somerset MP's question about booster jabs access in rural areas

Read more: Somerset MP to tackle PM about 'insufficient access' to booster jabs