WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The second person to get Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in the UK was a man named William Shakespeare.
- The 81-year-old man received worldwide attention because of his name.
- The first person to get the vaccine was 90-year-old Margaret Keenan.
An 81-year-old man named William Shakespeare has gained worldwide attention after becoming the second person to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the U.K. on Tuesday. Or maybe because he has a very popular namesake.
The first person to get the vaccine was 90-year-old grandmother Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week.
The famous poet was born in Warwickshire, England, the same county where Shakespeare hails from. He got his vaccine at University Hospital Coventry. Shakespeare said it was “groundbreaking” for him to be getting the shot.
“It could make a difference to our lives from now on, couldn’t it?” the elderly man said. “It’s started changing our lives and our lifestyle.”
UK officials said the first 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are allotted to people older than 80 along with nursing home workers. Additionally, they should either be hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled. On Dec. 2, UK regulators approved emergency authorization to the Pfizer vaccine which was co-produced by Germany’s BioNTech.
Shakespeare’s name attracted a light-hearted response from social media users.
One Twitter user referenced “Hamlet” in a post, writing: “If Margaret Keenan is patient 1A for the vaccine, would William Shakespeare be 2B, or not 2B …”
A woman who claimed she was Shakespeare’s niece replied to a comment and said his uncle likes to see his family soon.
“That’s my lovely Uncle you’re talking about,” she said. “And at some point he’d like to see his wife, children and grandchildren who can’t visit him at the moment. A very worthy recipient.”
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared to shed a tear in a TV interview with Piers Morgan after learning that Shakespeare got his vaccine.
“It’s been such a tough year for so many people and there’s William Shakespeare putting it so simply, for everybody, that we can get on with our lives,” Hancock said.
According to CBS News, U.S. and European Union authorities are also reviewing the vaccine Shakespeare took, along with rival products developed by U.S. biotechnology company Moderna and though a collaboration between Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca.
Source: CBS News