William Shakespeare, the first man in Britain to receive an approved Covid vaccine, dies at 81.

William Shakespeare, the man with a well-known identify who impressed headline writers throughout Britain final 12 months when he grew to become the second individual in the nation to receive a coronavirus vaccine, has died after struggling a stroke, his household mentioned in an announcement. He was 81.

Since Mr. Shakespeare was vaccinated on Dec. 8 at University Hospital, Coventry, in central England, 57 p.c of Britain’s inhabitants has acquired at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, one in all the highest vaccination rates in the world.

On Tuesday, individuals older than 30 in Britain grew to become eligible to receive a vaccine.

In an announcement launched by way of the hospital the place Mr. Shakespeare was vaccinated, his spouse of 53 years, Joy, mentioned he had been grateful for turning into one in all the first individuals to be vaccinated towards the coronavirus.

“It was something he was hugely proud of,” she mentioned. “He loved seeing the media coverage and the positive difference he was able to make to the lives of so many.”

“He often talked to people about it and would always encourage everyone to get their vaccine whenever he could,” she mentioned.

Mr. Shakespeare died on Thursday at the hospital the place he had been vaccinated, and the place he had been hospitalized final 12 months after struggling a stroke.

Mr. Shakespeare acquired his first dose shortly after Margaret Keenan, then 90, grew to become the first individual in Britain to be vaccinated and the first in the world to receive a clinically licensed, absolutely examined coronavirus vaccine.

Their vaccinations introduced a way of optimism to Britain: “If I can have it at 90 then you can have it, too!” Ms. Keenan mentioned at the time.

At least 127,000 individuals have died of the coronavirus in Britain, in accordance to a New York Times database, the world’s fifth-highest identified loss of life toll.

The different William Shakespeare, the playwright and poet who died in 1616, additionally has a connection to the coronavirus pandemic: The part of Westminster Abbey in London that features Poet’s Corner, which has a monument to him, was used as a vaccination center this spring. (He isn’t buried there, as an earlier model of this merchandise mentioned.)

The household of the fashionable Mr. Shakespeare mentioned he could be remembered for far more than sharing a reputation with one in all England’s most well-known historic figures. He was an newbie photographer and jazz aficionado, a parish councilor and an official at native faculties for greater than twenty years.

A neighborhood councilor and pal of Mr. Shakespeare’s, Jayne Innes, mentioned on Twitter, “Bill will be remembered for many things, including a taste for mischief.”

“Bill loved meeting people and helping them in any way possible,” Ms. Shakespeare mentioned. “Most of all he was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.”

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