A charming interview with Martin Kenyon, one of the first people in the world to get the COVID-19 vaccine, has gone viral thanks to the 91-year-old gentleman’s dry wit.
Speaking with CNN reporter Cyril Vanier on Tuesday — a day dubbed “V-Day” by the British press as health authorities in the United Kingdom began distributing the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine — Kenyon explained that he’d received his vaccination at Guy’s Hospital in central London.
“They said, ‘Well, come at half past 12,’” Kenyon said. “Of course, I couldn’t damn well find anywhere to park my car, so I was late.”
Kenyon went on to explain the ins and outs of his day, including the “rather nasty lunch” he’d had while waiting at the hospital, and exclaimed that the vaccination process was quick and didn’t hurt in the slightest.
“I hope I’m not going to have the bloody bug now,” Kenyon said. “I don’t intend to have it because I’ve got granddaughters, and I want to live a long time to enjoy their lives.”
The nonagenarian added that he hadn’t told his family about the “very unexciting” process yet.
“Well, there’s no point in dying now when I’ve lived this long, is there?” Kenyon said. “I don’t plan to, anyway.”
The video of Kenyon quickly went viral across social media, with Twitter users applauding his frankness and even going so far as to call him “the most British man on the planet.” Others praised the effectiveness of the U.K.’s National Health Service, which had enabled Kenyon to get his vaccine the same day he called about it.
Kenyon, who grew up during World War II and was an activist in the anti-apartheid movement, said in a follow-up interview with The Guardian that he was baffled by his sudden celebrity. He called the CNN footage “deeply uninteresting.”
He also said he was feeling no adverse effects a day after his vaccination — aside from the fact that at his age, “all sorts of things ache.”
“I am looking forward to hugging my grandchildren,” Kenyon told the outlet. “They are the ones who were most likely to give [coronavirus] to me … and they like hugging me. This period has been a challenge, but we must make sure that life goes on. We all want to get back to normal and I am sure that will happen.”
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