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World’s first man to get COVID-19 vaccine dies of unrelated illness in UK


PTI, May 26, 2021, 7:54 AM IST

London: An 81-year-old pensioner in the UK who made history when he became the first man in the world to have the COVID-19 vaccination has died of an unrelated illness, the British media reported on Tuesday.

William Shakespeare hit global headlines on December 8 last year when he became the first man to have the jab to fight against the coronavirus at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Shakespeare received his first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the same hospital shortly after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan, who became the world’s first person to get the jab.

Coventry councillor Jayne Innes, a friend of Shakespeare, said he had died on Thursday (May 20) and added the ”best tribute to Bill is to have the jab”.

Bill, as he was fondly known, passed away after a period of illness at the same hospital where he famously received his vaccine, CoventryLive reported. Shakespeare had worked at Rolls Royce and was a parish councillor.

Shakespeare had served his local community in Allesley for more than three decades and was an inpatient on the hospital’s frailty ward at the time of his first jab, said it had been ”wonderful”.

Shakespeare leaves his wife Joy, their two adult sons and grandchildren, the BBC reported.

West Midlands Labour group said on Twitter: ”Bill made global headlines as [the first] man to have Covid vaccine.

”His decades of service to the party were recently recognised by Labour Party leader Keir Starmer.

”Our thoughts are with Joy and Bill’s family and friends.”

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