William Shakespeare dies: First man in the world to receive Covid vaccine dies aged 81 of unrelated illness
THE first man in the world to receive a Covid vaccine has died aged 81.
William Shakespeare – known as Bill – received his first Pfizer jab in December, but passed away from an unrelated illness on Thursday.
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The pensioner made history when he was given the vaccine at University Hospital Coventry, shortly after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan.
It marked a turning point in the fight against coronavirus and the start of the biggest vaccination programme in history.
Following his jab, Mr Shakespeare said: "Groundbreaking, I think, isn't it?
"It could make the difference to our lives from now on. It’s the start of changing our lives and our lifestyle."
He added he had been spending lockdown with his wife, and the pair had been "virtually locked down" the entire time – apart from a few trips to the local shops on his wife's part, but he hasn't been penning any plays like his namesake.
Coventry councillor and friend of Mr Shakespeare, Jayne Innes, confirmed he died last week, adding the "best tribute to Bill is to have the jab".
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She said on Facebook: "Greatly saddened and upset to hear our friend, the very lovely Bill Shakespeare, has passed away.
"Bill will be remembered for many things, including a taste for mischief."
As well as wife Joy, Mr Shakespeare leaves his two adult sons and grandchildren.
West Midlands Labour paid tribute to party "stalwart" Bill, from Warwickshire.
The post on Twitter read: "We're sorry to hear of the death of Coventry Labour stalwart Bill Shakespeare.
"Bill made global headlines as 1st first man to have Covid vaccine.
"His decades of service to the party were recently recognised by @Keir_Starmer.
"Our thoughts are with Joy and Bill's family & friends."
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