William Shakespeare, first man in world to get Covid jab dead at 81

First man in world to get approved Covid jab is dead: Brit William Shakespeare has died at 81

  • William Shakespeare hit global headlines on December 8 after being vaccinated
  • He was the first man in the world to receive any jab, which was a Pfizer shot
  • Mr Shakespeare died at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire aged 81
  • His family had been thrilled at the fame he enjoyed after getting the vaccine 

William Shakespeare, the first man in the world to have the Covid-19 jab, has died in hospital.

Tributes were paid to the proud Coventry pensioner, 81, who hit global headlines on December 8 after being vaccinated at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

His picture appeared on front pages across the world – much to both his and his family’s delight.

At the time, much was played on the fact that he was called William Shakespeare and was from Warwickshire, but the pensioner was a fiercely proud Coventrian according to his friends.

Bill, as he was known, passed away after a period of illness on Thursday at the same hospital where he famously received his vaccine.

When he received the Pfizer jab he had been an in-patient at the hospital’s frailty ward.

He said after getting the historic drug: ‘I need to say, the staff at this hospital are wonderful.’ 

Mr Shakespeare was pictured receiving the shot in his left arm and wearing a pair of Christmas slippers with his hospital gown

The poignant image of him dressed in festive slippers with his hospital gown became a symbol of home amid the dark days of lockdown.

His sad death was being mourned not only by his family but the many people he came into contact with today as news of his passing was revealed.

He was a ‘much-loved figure’ in the Coventry Labour party according to Jayne Innes, Whoberley ward councillor, and one who will be fondly remembered.

The Allesley resident had been a parish councillor for 30 years, of which he was chairman of the parish council for 20 years.

‘He was such a lovely man, one who had a real commitment to making his local area better,’ said Jayne.

‘During lockdown local families will have enjoyed walking amongst the trees planted by Bill and his colleagues in Allesley back in the 1980s. 

Maggie Keenan, 90, became the first to receive her jab by Matron May Parsons

The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus jab is an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire called William Shakespeare

‘He was also very involved with the creation of the Coundon Wood in 2005 and in fundraising for the purchase of Elkin Wood, now managed by the Woodland Trust in 1997.

‘Bill was a life-long campaigner, so he was delighted to be able to help encourage everyone to have the vaccine in order to return to all the things we enjoy in life. I’ve had my first. Having our jabs is the best tribute we can all pay Bill. 

‘He was a keen photographer, loved jazz and socialising, and also loved the natural world and gardens. Bill will be remembered for many things including a taste for mischief.

‘He was a much respected figure in the Coventry Labour Party and he will be sorely missed.’

Angela Hopkins, Coventry Labour Party secretary, added: ‘Bill has been an active member for many, many years, particularly in Bablake ward where he has walked hundreds of thousands of steps every year campaigning for the party and was an Allesley Parish Councillor.

‘I know that he will be greatly missed not only by members in Bablake, but by colleagues across the constituency and beyond.’

He used to work at Rolls Royce and was also a school governor at Allesley Primary School, as well as at Coundon Court School.

He leaves behind his wife Joy, two sons, one also called William but known as Will, as well as Julian. He was also a proud grandfather.

Funeral details have yet to be arranged.

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