It’s the Margaret Effect! Sales soar around the world for charity penguin T-shirt worn by Margaret Keenan, 90, when she became first person to receive Covid vaccine
- Margaret Keenan, 90, was given the Covid-19 vaccine in Coventry on Tuesday
- She wore a Christmas penguin charity T-Shirt given to her by the hospital
- Sales have soared by 300 per cent as people around the world rush to buy it
- Since then orders have rolled in from customers in China, Brazil and Germany
Sales soared today around the world for the penguin T-shirt worn by Margaret Keenan when she became the first person to receive the Covid vaccine.
The 90-year-old was given the Pfizer jab in Coventry on Tuesday while wearing a Christmas penguin top that was sold to raise money for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (IHCW) Charity.
Sales of the shirt rose by 300 per cent, according to the charity, after photographs of Mrs Keenan wearing it were shared worldwide.
UHCW Charity director Jo O’Sullivan said she was ‘so emotional’, telling LBC: ‘We kitted her out in the T-shirt and some clothing that we’d bought her as well, just so that she felt more human rather than in a hospital gown.
V-Day hero Margaret Keenan, from Coventry, was discharged from University Hospital Coventry at 2pm yesterday, leaving with her grandson Conor and daughter Sue. Sales of her T-shirt (pictured) soared by 300 per cent
Mrs Keenan (pictured) made history on Tuesday by becoming the first person to receive the injection outside of medical trials
‘So we were really pleased that she was happy to wear our T-shirt with pride and go on TV nationally, well internationally actually, to be the first person to be vaccinated.’
Since Tuesday orders have rolled in, including from customers in China, Brazil and Germany.
An initial run of 500 shirts sold out, as did subsequent restocks of another 850, and the charity has now ordered a further 2,500 to meet demand.
Ms O’Sullivan said it was a ‘huge boost’ to have the first vaccination performed in Coventry, adding: ‘It’s been a tough slog, frankly, for staff and everyone has been on their knees a bit and this has really lifted everybody just to know there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.’
The 90-year-old was given the Pfizer jab in Coventry on Tuesday while wearing a Christmas penguin top (pictured) that was sold to raise money for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (IHCW) Charity
Mrs Keenan hailed it as a ‘massive day’ for her and for ‘the rest of the world’ and said she was ‘so pleased’ to be able to return home and spend time with her family
Yesterday, Mrs Keenan urged sceptics to get the vaccine after being discharged from hospital. ‘I would urge everybody to get their vaccine as and when they are asked to do so,’ she said.
The grandmother-of-four will return to hospital in three weeks to get the second vaccine dose, which will give her stronger protection against the virus.
Mrs Keenan, who turns 91 next week, was discharged from University Hospital Coventry at 2pm on Wednesday, leaving with her grandson Conor and daughter Sue.
In a statement released through NHS England, she said: ‘Yesterday was a massive day for me personally and for the rest of the world as we all look to get back to some sort of normality.
Mrs Keenan, who turns 91 next week, makes history as she receives the jab on Tuesday
‘It has all been such a whirlwind and everything hasn’t really sunk in yet. I feel great and I’m so pleased to be able to go home and to spend some quality time with my family.
‘I would like to say thank you to the hospital and its staff for the care and support shown to me during my stay – they have been truly amazing.
‘My family and I are so grateful for the positive comments and well wishes received. I would urge everybody to get their vaccine as and when they are asked to do so.’
The national vaccination drive was launched at 70 UK hospitals, with most doses given to the over-80s.
Day one saw around 5,000 people vaccinated, including the elderly, care home staff and NHS workers.
An initial 800,000 doses are being rolled out in the coming days and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised millions more before Christmas.
Mrs Keenan was one of about 100 people vaccinated on the first day of the rollout at Coventry.
The second person to have the injection was 81-year-old William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare, an in-patient on the hospital’s frailty wards from Coventry who, appropriately, is local to his namesake’s county of birth Warwickshire.
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