United Kingdom

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, 52, becomes first Cabinet minister to receive coronavirus vaccine

Grant Shapps tonight became the first Cabinet minister to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

The Transport Secretary received a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, his constituency. 

Cancer treatment in the late 1990s means the 52-year-old is more vulnerable to the disease and therefore eligible for inoculation. 

He also filmed a video thanking NHS staff and urged people to get vaccinated so 'together we can protect each other'.    

Grant Shapps tonight became the first Cabinet minister to receive the coronavirus vaccine

The Transport Secretary received a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, his constituency

Mr Shapps tweeted this evening: 'Just received first #Covid jab after getting call from GP surgery to attend. 

'Double-checked I was in line for vaccine & NHS confirmed it was due to cancer treatment I received over two-decades ago. 

'Key message from NHS is - get yourself vaccinated the moment you're offered it.'

In 1999, shortly after he was selected to fight the seat of Welwyn Hatfield, Mr Shapps was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, an uncommon cancer that affects a person's glands.

The following year he received chemotherapy treatment and has since been in remission.

Photographs issued by Downing Street show the Tory minister receiving the injection in his left arm, having rolled up the sleeve on his navy blue polo

Photographs issued by Downing Street show the Tory minister receiving the injection in his left arm, having rolled up the sleeve on his navy blue polo.   

A Government publicity blitz encouraging people to get vaccinated comes amid evidence of low take-up in parts of the BAME community. 

So far 18,242,873 people in Britain have received their first shot of either the Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca jab - roughly 27 per cent of the population.

A further 326,692 received the jab yesterday, and 26,317 received their second dose.

Vaccination hubs are currently working their way down the JCVI's top nine priority groups of the most at-risk people. 

Many areas have now started calling over-60s for their jabs, as well as over-16s with underlying health conditions. 

Boris Johnson's Cabinet is strikingly young, with the oldest members Alister Jack and Simon Hart, Scottish and Welsh Secretary respectively, who are both 57.

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