‘It’s sensible – everyone should have it’: 91-year-old has second COVID-19 jab
Written by on 5 January 2021
Martin Kenyon, whose six-minute interview when he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine went viral, is one of a few people to have received their second dose.
The 91-year-old was one of the first in the world to receive the jab – after simply calling Guys’ Hospital in South London and requesting an appointment slot.
Mr Kenyon became an overnight star in an interview on CNN, saying: “I hope I’m not going to get the bloody bug now (…) there’s no point in dying when I’ve lived this long, is there?”
Mr Kenyon spoke to Sky News days after receiving his second jab, and said he thinks that there was a lot of “nonsense” surrounding the fact he was vaccinated – and that people should just do it.
He said: “It’s all rather uninteresting – I feel exactly the same. It’s a good idea for people to have it.
“It’s sensible. Rather like all the injections I’ve had all the 91 years I’ve lived.
“I don’t understand the medical or scientific side of it all – but I do what I’m told and trust the experts.
“I’m reasonably obedient – my children have been rather strict and told me to do as I’m told.
First person gets Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
“I’m not allowed out of the house for God’s sake – but that’s nothing to do with the injection!”, he joked.
“I’ve had it – and that’s proof it’s a good idea.”
He added: “It provides you with some immunity, apparently!”
After receiving the first jab, Mr Kenyon was able to spend Christmas with his family who live outside of London.
His highlight was reconnecting with his grandchildren – Molly, 10, and his grandson, Leo, aged seven.
“They’re a delight! Amusing, lovely people…,” he said.
“And seem to like their grandfather!”
‘Mixing vaccines is not recommended’
Mr Kenyon won a scholarship to study at independent boarding school Eton College as a young student – the same institution as many of Britain’s prime ministers.
“I had a scholarship to go to Eton – otherwise my parents couldn’t have afforded it. My father was an officer in the army, all his working life,” he said.
The Old Etonion went on to become very active in the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.
Through his work with the Oversees Students’ Trust, Mr Kenyon met and struck up a friendship with Archbishop Desmond Tutu just days after the human rights activist and cleric had arrived in England.
He said: “He called me brother Martin.
“He’s godfather to my daughter and I’m godfather to his daughter, who now lives in Belgium.”
Mr Kenyon also met the late Nelson Mandela on a few occasions, who gave him “a good thump on the chest” the first time after he was released from prison and visiting London – an acknowledgement for all the anti-racism work he and others had been carrying out in the UK.
The Londoner also had the opportunity to meet Martin Luther King Jr – famous for his I Have a Dream speech – in 1966.
“Dr King was an interesting man to meet,” he said.
“He was very polite and very friendly, treated me well, nice man.
“He offered me the chance to stay the night in his flat, which I did, instead of student accommodation.
“No one could believe it!”