William Shakespeare, an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire, England, became the second man in the UK to receive the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer.
The name of the patient got social media users talking like a lot of memes and light jokes were made from the historic moment. Many social media users cited quotes from great works of Shakespeare, the playwright. It was one way for the social media community to cast away their minds from a devastating pandemic that has caused the death of millions all over the world.
The vaccination of Shakespeare took place in front of the cameras. In a short interview after his vaccination, he said he was elated to have contributed his quota. Regarding pain from the needle, Shakespeare said he didn’t feel a thing.
Before Shakespeare took over the spotlight, Margaret Keenan was the first person in the UK to have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The 90-year-old clerk from Northern Ireland received hers at the University Hospital Coventry.
The UK became the first Western country to roll out a vaccine that has been scientifically tested and has undergone rigorous review processes from regulators in the country. The vaccine was made by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, in collaboration with BioNTech, a German drug firm. Other countries in Europe are expected to grant approval to the vaccine in the coming days and weeks, including the US.
Keenan, whose birthday comes up next week, said she felt privileged to have been the first person to get vaccinated against COVID-19. She said it was the best birthday present because she can now find time to spend the holidays with friends and family members, ABC7 reports.
The vaccination was an excellent way to end a bleak year that saw the adverse effect of the coronavirus pandemic in all facets of life. Officials in the UK said that the vaccination program could take several months before a significant portion of the public becomes vaccinated. This means that it could take some time before things could get back to normal.
The UK has the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus than any country in Europe, with 61,000 deaths from more than 1.7 million confirmed cases. However, how the country handles its vaccination program could be a lesson for other countries as the world gears up to vaccinate billions of people.
Stephen Powis, a medical director with the National Health Service, said that the end of the pandemic was finally in sight. He said that although this could take several more months, people could get back to living their normal lives again.
Russia had already commenced its vaccination program, using the newly developed Sputnik V vaccine. China has done likewise, and the Asian country has already started exporting its vaccines to other countries. However, vaccines from both countries are not trusted internationally, given the vital clinical steps that were omitted in certifying a vaccine as safe and efficacious.
Yet again, there are other vaccines produced by other drugmakers still undergoing reviews by regulators, such as that developed by AstraZeneca, Oxford University, and Moderna. The first targeted group for the vaccine in the UK would include those over 80 years of age and hospitalized, as well as outpatients, nursing home workers, and vaccination staff.