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Nurse who gave first COVID vaccination is honoured

May Parsons, who made history when administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, is honoured for skills and attributes shown in her Master’s studies
May Parsons

May Parsons, who made history when administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, is honoured for skills and attributes shown in her Master’s studies

A nurse who was the first person in the world to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine has been honoured for her extensive contribution to nursing.

May Parsons made history when she administered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the first outside a clinical trial, to Margaret Keenan at the University Hospital Coventry in December 2020.

In July this year she joined NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard to collect the George Cross on behalf on the NHS, which was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II after the pandemic.

A few months later she was invited to attend the

May Parsons, who made history when administering the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, is honoured for skills and attributes shown in her Master’s studies

May Parsons

A nurse who was the first person in the world to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine has been honoured for her extensive contribution to nursing.

May Parsons made history when she administered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the first outside a clinical trial, to Margaret Keenan at the University Hospital Coventry in December 2020.

In July this year she joined NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard to collect the George Cross on behalf on the NHS, which was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II after the pandemic.

A few months later she was invited to attend the Queen’s funeral as part of the procession of NHS workers.

She was part of the first cohort in a new leadership Master’s programme

Coventry University has now honoured her with an award as a modern matron completing her senior leaders Master’s degree apprenticeship and Master’s in global healthcare management.

Ms Parsons said: ‘When I moved to the UK from the Philippines, I never dreamed it would be possible to meet Queen Elizabeth II and get awards like this.

‘It is an honour, and I am representing the NHS workers, women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds and the people we have lost during the pandemic.

‘There are a lot of people out there who do this job with the same commitments, who are more deserving, so this award is for all our NHS workers because it is the people that make the NHS.’

On top of caring for respiratory patients at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, Ms Parsons was part of the first cohort in a new leadership Master’s programme.

Ms Parsons is backing efforts to recruit 1,000 new local nurses by 2027

At her graduation the university's School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health recognised her with its Endeavour Award, which is given to a student who has demonstrated skills and attributes that go ‘above and beyond’ throughout their studies.

The university say her commitment to life-long learning while saving lives through her work on the wards, and the vaccination campaign, epitomises the phrase ‘going above and beyond’.

Ms Parsons, who is backing the NHS and Coventry University’s bid to recruit 1,000 new local nurses by 2027, urged those who are eligible to get vaccinated this winter.

She said: ‘Nursing is the most fulfilling job I can think of. If you have a desire to help people and will care for people as if they are your family, like I do, then we need you to consider a career in the NHS.

‘You never stop learning and you can do anything you put your mind to.’


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