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William Shakespeare from Warwickshire was first man to receive Covid vaccine
8 December 2020, 10:13
William Shakespeare from Warwickshire has become the second person to receive the Covid vaccine.
The 81-year-old, who goes by Bill, is an in-patient on the frailty wards at University Hospital Coventry which is local to his namesake's county of birth, Warwickshire.
After becoming just the second person to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, he said: "I need to say, the staff at this hospital are wonderful."
He and Margaret Keenan, who was the first person to receive the vaccine on Tuesday morning, will need a second booster injection in three weeks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC that seeing the first round of vaccinations administered had brought a tear to his eye.
Jabs will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs across the country from today - dubbed "V-Day" by Mr Hancock.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens praised all those involved in delivering the new vaccine programme.
"Less than a year after the first case of this new disease was diagnosed, the NHS has now delivered the first clinically approved Covid-19 vaccination - that is a remarkable achievement," Sir Simon said.
"A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who has made this a reality - the scientists and doctors who worked tirelessly, and the volunteers who selflessly took part in the trials. They have achieved in months what normally takes years.
"My colleagues across the health service are rightly proud of this historic moment as we lead in deploying the PfizerBioNTech vaccine.
"I also want to thank Margaret, our first patient to receive the vaccine on the NHS.
"Today is just the first step in the largest vaccination programme this country has ever seen. It will take some months to complete the work as more vaccine supplies become available and until then we must not drop our guard. But if we all stay vigilant in the weeks and months ahead, we will be able to look back at this as a decisive turning point in the battle against the virus."