The second patient on the planet to receive the approved
His name, and appropriate home county, raised wry smiles on an otherwise landmark day in the history of medicine as Britain’s vaccination programme got underway.
Social media lit up with humorous Bard-related references, with one quipping it was the ‘taming of the flu’.
The in-patient at University Coventry Hospital’s frailty ward, known as Bill, himself said: ‘I need to say, the staff at this hospital are wonderful.’
On so-called V-Day, hailed as the moment the UK turns the tide on the pandemic, the first vaccines were administered by nurses at the hospital.
Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons.
She was quickly followed by Mr Shakespeare, who was pictured receiving the shot in his left arm, and wearing a pair of Christmas slippers with his hospital gown.
The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus jab is an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire called William Shakespeare
His name, and appropriate home county, raised wry smiles on an otherwise landmark day in the history of medicine as Britain’s vaccination programme got underway
Many of the watching world were in disbelief that the second person to receive the vaccine was called William Shakespeare, and remarkably even shared his county with the Bard, from Stratford-upon-Avon.
One tweeted: ‘Actually I heard the second person to get the vaccine was Christopher Marlowe but William Shakespeare took all the credit.’
Another reworded those immortal lines from Macbeth and wrote: ‘By the pricking of my arm, something good this way comes.
‘A double injection is no trouble, Covid be gone, I can leave my bubble.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock wept as Ms Keenan, who turns 91 next week, received her jab at 6.30am.
Mr Shakespeare was pictured receiving the shot in his left arm and wearing a pair of Christmas slippers with his hospital gown
Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons
She hailed a dose of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine ‘the best early birthday present I could wish for’.
For the occassion she wore a bright blue t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Merry Christmas’ and could be seen smiling under her mask.
Mrs Keenan, a former jewellery shop assistant who only retired four years ago, has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.
She said: ‘I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19, it’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year.
‘I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock wept as Ms Keenan, who turns 91 next week, received her jab at 6.30am
Mr Hancock embarked on a victory lap of broadcast studios this morning.
He said: ‘I’m feeling quite emotional seeing those pictures, it’s been such a tough year for so many people but finally we have our way through it, the light at the end of the tunnel.
‘It seems so simple having a jab in your arm but that will protect Margaret and the people around her.
‘If we manage to do that for everyone who is vulnerable to this disease we can move on and return to normal.
‘I am so grateful to the whole team who made this happen.’
This morning 50 hospital sites across the UK were preparing to roll out the vaccine to the over-80s, the vulnerable and frontline hospital and care home staff.