A retired 87-year-old race expert from Newcastle will help make medical history when he does his “homework” and becomes one of the first people in the Western world to get the Covid vaccine.
Harry Shukla said before receiving his vaccination: “I am very happy that we are hoping to approach the end of this epidemic and I am happy to do my duty by getting the vaccine.” “I feel like it’s my duty to do that and do everything I can to help.”
Shukla and his wife, Rangan, 83, will receive their first two injections of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle Tuesday morning, a week after Britain became the first country in the Western world to approve a vaccine for the Coronavirus.
“After you’ve been in contact with NHS I know how hard they all worked and I’m grateful for everything they did to keep us safe during the pandemic. ”
Shukla is one of 400,000 people who will be given an injection – in the shoulder, not the arm, as is the case with most injections – as a priority in one of 50 hospitals across England because they are either over 80 years old, live or work in a nursing home, or work for the NHS With poor basic health or whose work puts them at greater risk.
Shukla was born in Uganda and studied at the University of Exeter. He later returned to Britain to work in race relations, first in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. He moved to Newcastle in 1974 when he became director of the Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council.
He won an award MBE, OBE and CBE For his work. In 2018, he published a book, The Art of Giving, about promoting better relationships between ethnic groups in Newcastle. The former teacher was also honored with the painting “Local Hero” in the city.
Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of NHS England hailed the start of the vaccine program as a “turning point” in controlling the Covid pandemic that has contributed to the deaths of more than 75,000 people across the UK and left more than 200,000 in need of treatment in hospital.
The deployment of this vaccine marks a critical turning point in the battle with the pandemic. The NHS vaccination programs that have successfully helped beat tuberculosis, polio and smallpox are now shifting their focus to the coronavirus, ”he said.
Professor Stephen Boyce, National Medical Director for the National Health Service in England, warned that the launch of the vaccine would be “a marathon, not a sprint” and would take months.
Chief Medical Officers in the four countries of the United Kingdom warned Last Friday, “the deployment of the vaccine will have only a marginal effect in reducing the numbers coming to the health service with Covid during the next three months.” They added that NHS employees face several “difficult months” before the vaccine begins in the spring to reduce the number of people hospitalized and die.
NHS leaders in England are concerned that hospitals may struggle to cope in January and February amid a third wave of Covid and winter stress, which usually subsides at that time, the health Reported the service magazine on Monday.
National NHS leaders are concerned that anything over 5,000 has Covid patients [still] In the hospital by the end of the year he will leave the service vulnerable to confusion. ”Official figures show that Covid patients occupied a total of 12,241 beds on Sunday. Hospitals They usually experience their busiest month at the start of the new year, especially if a cold occurs, when they treat people, especially the elderly, who have serious breathing problems or have fallen on ice or snow.