96-year-old is first Spaniard vaccinated for COVID-19

MADRID (AFP) – A 96-year-old living in a care home in central Spain became the first person in the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19 yesterday, in an event broadcast by national television.

She felt “nothing” from the shot, Araceli Rosario Hidalgo Sanchez said with a smile after being injected.

With her short white hair, the pensioner living in the Los Olmos retirement home in Guadalajara got up slowly after pulling on her black jacket and walked off using a frame for support.

Carer Monica Tapias followed as the second Spaniard to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Los Olmos home was picked to kick off the country’s inoculation campaign because it sits near a Pfizer storage depot, where vaccines were delivered from Belgium on Saturday ahead of nationwide distribution.

No cases of COVID-19 have so far been detected among the staff or residents.

“It’s a great source of pride and a great satisfaction for us, we’re representing all the retirement homes in Spain,” Director Marina Vadillo said on Thursday.

After the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last Monday, the way is open for injections across the 27-member bloc.