'What a wonderful birthday present' - Man, 87, to receive Covid vaccine
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
An 87-year-old Gorleston man will be among the first in the region to receive the coronavirus vaccination.
Malcolm Metcalf has travelled the world three times and been to 54 different countries - and now will be one of the first to receive the injection, as Norfolk and Waveney NHS rolls out the vaccine on Wednesday (December 9) at the James Paget and Norfolk and Norwich hospitals.
People aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Mr Metcalf said he received a phone call from his GP on Tuesday morning (December 8).
"He asked me if I could go to the James Paget for the jab. Having turned 87 last week, what a wonderful birthday present. I can't get over it. I'm so so pleased," he said.
Mr Metcalf gets his second does of the vaccine on January 4 next year.
He said: "I didn't think it was going to be as quick as this. I thought it would be two or three weeks, I thought it would be the hospitals first and the care homes.
"I'm really grateful," he added.
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When he was 19-years-old Mr Metcalf was confined to bed for a year by spinal tuberculosis.
"If it wasn't for a drug called streptimycin, I wouldn't be here today. It was only discovered in 1946 and I had it in 1953. I had 180 injections of that. So I'm so grateful to the NHS."
Mr Metcalf, known as the 'Michael Palin of Gorleston', has been around the world three times.
He also travelled the length and breadth of England in one month on his bus pass when he was 82-years-old.
"I've had a wonderful life. As I sit here and recollect, I've been to 54 countries, around the world three times, I've been to America 22 times. I've still got friends all over the world."
He said he has missed going on holiday.
"I would have visited my sister on the west coast at Christmas. I will spend Christmas on my own instead but I'm not a lonely person," he said.
After the second injection in January, he will visit friends in Burgh Castle.
"They have a lovely wood there, they have herons nesting there and other birds, so I'm looking forward to going there again," he said.
British grandmother Margaret Keenan, 90, become the first person in the world to receive Pfizer's Covid-19 jab outside a clinical trial as the NHS began its mass vaccination programme across the UK today (Tuesday, December 8).