Today’s COVID Vaccine Heroes Are This 91-Year-Old Legend and the NHS

Martin Kenyon and a centralized health care system deserve your congrats.

As the world watches the United Kingdom roll out the first doses of Pfizer’s much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, Martin Kenyon, a 91-year-old man living in London, has emerged as the unlikely face of the country’s efforts to instill public confidence in a vaccine. 

“I rang up Guy’s Hospital, which I know very well because I’ve lived in London most of my grown-up life, and I said, ‘What’s this thing you’re doing, the vaccination?'” Kenyon told CNN in a man-on-the-street interview Tuesday, where he described the exceedingly simple process of booking his appointment that very morning. 

The biggest hurdle, according to our hero, wasn’t navigating a patchwork mess of state and federal systems that, as of now, lacks the billions of dollars in funding required to deploy the vaccine. No, the hardest thing was securing a parking spot in London—that and suffering what Kenyon lamented as a “nasty lunch.”

“I’m not going to have the bloody bug now,” he continued. “I don’t intend to have it because I’ve got granddaughters and I want to live for a long time. I’m going to hug them for Christmas.” “There’s no point to dying now,” Kenyon added, “when I’ve lived this long, is there?” 

It’s an incredibly charming segment. Remember it when the United States, without the enormous benefits of a centralized health care system, launches its own vaccine roll-out.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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