Martin Kenyon, 91, left Guy's Hospital in London Tuesday as one of the first people in the world to receive a clinically approved COVID-19 vaccine and then immediately gave a colorful interview on live television about his experience.
The British grandfather is going viral for sharing with CNN that he called his local hospital to see if he could get in line for the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, the first shots of which are being given to people over age 80, nursing home staff and residents, and some front-line workers. After answering a series of yes-or-no questions, Kenyon said he was told he qualified and would have an appointment at 12:30 p.m.
He said he was a bit late since he couldn't find somewhere to park his car. The hospital put him on a list to wait.
"I went off and had a rather nasty lunch and then came back and they were ready for me," Kenyon said, not sparing a single detail of his history-making afternoon.
When it came time to get the actual shot, Kenyon said it was "painless."
"It didn't hurt at all. I didn't know the needle had gone in until it had come out!" he said.
He also showed the TV camera a "very unexciting" card he received with his name and a reminder to come back in three weeks for his second and final shot. The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine requires two doses for each patient.
"I hope I'm not going to have the bloody bug now!" he said.
Kenyon said he hadn't yet told his family that he was one of the first to receive the vaccine and that the television viewers were "the first to know."
The proud grandfather said he is looking forward to hugging his granddaughters, something he hasn't been able to do during the pandemic.
“I want to live a long time to enjoy their lives,” he said. “No point in dying now when I have lived this long, is there?”
Kenyon's interview earned him plenty of fans on social media, who called it "pure gold."
"Absolutely hysterical! Martin what a legend! Sliding in a not-so-subtle complaint about the bleeding awful hospital lunch and making it clear he has no plans on dying now after coming ‘this far’ after 91 years?" one person wrote on Twitter. "This interview truly made me homesick haha."
"Hats off to Martin. Great British spirit, showing the way for others with his post vaccine interview," another said.
When the BBC caught up with Kenyon after his viral television debut, he joked about his newfound fame.
"I don't feel very different," he said. "I'm still the same tiresome little man that I've always been."