Transport Secretary Grant Shapps becomes first minister to receive Covid vaccine

Transport secretary revealed cancer treatment he received in 1990s made him eligible for jab

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 25 February 2021 08:52 GMT

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has become the first Cabinet minister to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, revealing that cancer treatment he received more than 20 years ago made him eligible for the jab.

The 52-year-old minister underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare cancer which affects part of the immune system, in 1997.

Clinically vulnerable people, including those who have had cancer in the past, are currently being offered the vaccine along with people aged 65 and over.

Mr Shapps received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the University of Hertfordshire in his constituency of Hatfield.

He said he was “so surprised” to receive the call from his GP him offering the jab that he “called back and checked they got it right”.

He added, in a video posted to Twitter: “It turns out that it’s because, a couple of decades ago, I had cancer, but have been in remission for a very long time from that. But here we are.

“I’m going to have my jab and then have a little tour to thank the volunteers who have turned up as well as the NHS staff. The most important thing is, when you’re called for your jab, make sure you book it in and make sure you go and get it and together we can protect each other.”

More than 18 million people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, around one in every three adults. The next groups likely to be offered the vaccine are 64-year-olds and adults with learning disabilities.

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