/ 12 July 2022

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas alumna May Parsons will receive the George Cross award on behalf of the National Health Service, a publicly funded healthcare system in the United Kingdom.

Parsons was the nurse who administered the world’s first Covid19 vaccine to a 90-year-old British woman outside of clinical trials on December 8, 2022.

She and NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard will represent the 1.5 million staff working for the NHS in England in the awarding ceremony.

“I am humbled and honored to be representing the NHS with Amanda when we are awarded the George Cross – it takes hundreds of thousands of us to make the NHS what it is today and I am so grateful to be part of and attending this prestigious event on behalf of such a wonderful team of people – from nurses, doctors, healthcare assistants to many, many others,” Parsons said in a statement.

“All of the staff in hospitals and our communities went above and beyond during the pandemic to look after patients despite the risks the virus posed to themselves, across health and care, staff sacrificed so much to look after those in need,” she added.

“The George Cross is a fitting tribute to them all,” she said.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles will confer the George Cross award at Windsor Castle on July 12.

The George Cross is the highest award given by the British government for acts of heroism or courage in circumstances of extreme danger other than those performed in the face of the enemy.

According to NHS, the award recognizes the “courage, compassion and dedication” of staff during the pandemic and their service to the public for the last 74 years.