Margaret Keenan, who is turning 91 next week, received her shot from nurse May Parson at the University Hospital in Coventry in the Midlands, as part of ‘Operation Courageous’, the UK’s biggest ever mass vaccination programme.
Not the writer, poet and playwright, but his 81-year-old namesake. This Mr. Shakespeare was the second person to be given a jab – and, guess what, he also comes from Warwickshire.
“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,” said the 91-year-old after receiving her shot.
His name sparked much ado and creativity on the social media, evidence that there is lots in a name. The image of Shakespeare receiving the vaccine was widely shared, with remarks such as: ‘The Taming of Flu’ and ‘The Two Gentlemen of Corona’.
One commentator wondered if Keenan were to be called Patient 1A, would Shakespeare be “Patient 2B or not 2B?” Another said he was “glad he (Shakespeare) wasn’t Bard from having it”, and some hoped that “In a world when people hardly ever remember who came second, the second person to get the Covid jab might stick in the memory”.
The vaccine is given as two injections, 21 days apart, with the second dose being a booster. Immunity begins to kick in after the first dose but reaches its full effect seven days after the second dose.
“Two doses, both alike in quantity,” if we’re allowed another pun – but here are some others on the day “the taming of the flu” began.
‘WIDER VACCINE CHOICE WILL BE NEEDED’
Professor Whitty said that once the most vulnerable patients had been vaccinated “wider choices” would need to be made about who would receive treatment.
“This disease is one that is very predictably much more dangerous than for older people and people with pre-existing health conditions,” he said, speaking to the Commons Science and Technology Committee.
“Once we’ve gone through that first list which takes us down to roughly 20 million people there are going to be some wider choices about where we go from there on.”
VACCINE WARNING ‘PRECAUTIONARY’
Two NHS workers who received the landmark Pfizer Covid jab on V Day have suffered allergic reactions with a warning now issued.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: “As is common with new vaccines the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday.
“Both are recovering well.