MANILA (UPDATED) — The British ambassador to Manila on Tuesday lauded a Pinoy nurse after administering Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to the first person in the world who received it outside clinical trials.
In a tweet, Ambassador Daniel Pruce said it was great news that Pinoy nurse May Parsons injected the vaccine to the 90-year-old British grandmother.
The ambassador also thanked the Filipino medical frontliners in the United Kingdom who made an “enormous contribution” to the country’s National Health Service (NHS).
“A fantastic moment! And great to see that the vaccine is administered by Nurse May Parsons from the Philippines - one of the many thousands of Filipino healthcare workers making such an enormous contribution to the #NHS,” Pruce said.
In a separate tweet, British personality Piers Morgan also praised Parsons, who he said has been working for the NHS for some 24 years.
“How wonderful that this historic global moment happened in the UK, at University Hospital, Coventry,” Morgan said.
Britain was the first country to begin mass inoculations on Tuesday with a shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
In an interview with “Good Morning Britain”, Parsons, a British-Filipino, said she was happy to tell the world that Pinoys could make a difference.
“I’m really glad to be telling all the Filipinos in the country and in the world that we can make a difference," she said.
She also described the COVID-19 vaccination in the UK as a "historical event" for Filipinos globally, who are proud of the care they provide in the medical sector in the middle of the pandemic.
“[Filipinos are] making sure that we are proud of what we have achieved and the care that we give. I’m very proud to say to everyone that I'm a British-Filipino today, making history,” the nurse added.
She clarified she was a matron who has worked at the NHS Trust in the University Hospital Coventry for 17 years.
The Coventry is a large NHS hospital situated in Walsgrave, Sowe area of Coventry on West Midlands, England.
There are some 18,000 Filipinos working for UK's NHS, making it the second highest number of foreign worker in the health care service.
British health minister Matt Hancock, meanwhile, said he hoped life would get back to normal beginning spring of next year, following the roll-out of a vaccine against coronavirus.
"Because we've been able to get this vaccination program running sooner than anywhere else in the world, we will be able to bring that date forward a bit. I have great hopes for summer 2021 and I hope we can lift restrictions from the spring," Hancock told the BBC.
— with a report from Reuters and Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN News