Did William Shakespeare contract Covid-19? First man in world to get approved vaccine dies at a hospital at 81

William Shakespeare was the first man in the world to get the approved Covid-19 vaccine on December 8, 2020, instantly achieving celebrity status


                            Did William Shakespeare contract Covid-19? First man in world to get approved vaccine dies at a hospital at 81
"Bill" William Shakespeare, 81, receives the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital on December 8, 2020, in Coventry, United Kingdom (Getty Images)
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William Shakespeare, the first man in the world to get the approved Covid-19 vaccine is no longer alive. It is being reported that he died at a hospital on May 20, 2021, in Warwickshire in the UK. Shakespeare, also known as Bill, made headlines the world over on December 8 after receiving the American Pfizer/BioNTech shot at the University Hospital Coventry.

He received the jab shortly after 91-year-old Margaret Keenan. Coventry councilor Jayne Innes, a friend of Shakespeare, confirmed the news of his death and added, "the best tribute to Bill is to have the jab."

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Pfizer Inc. signage is seen on July 22, 2020, in New York City. Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech have agreed to supply the US government with 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine under a $1.95 billion deal (Getty Images)

Did William Shakespeare die of Covid-19?

Shakespeare, 81, died at the hospital due to an illness not related to the coronavirus. He had stayed at Coventry for a significant duration and was undergoing treatment for an illness and on May 20, he died from a stroke. Shakespeare is survived by his wife Joy, two sons and four grandchildren.

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Shakespeare's wife Joy, 53, paid a loving tribute to her husband where she stated that he was extremely appreciative of the fact that he was chosen to be the first to receive the vaccine. "Bill was so grateful for being offered the opportunity to become one of the first people in the world to be given the vaccine. It was something he was hugely proud of — he loved seeing the media coverage and the positive difference he was able to make to the lives of so many."

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Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first patient in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital, Coventry, on December 8, 2020, in Coventry, United Kingdom (Getty Images)

"He often talked to people about it and would always encourage everyone to get their vaccine whenever he could. Bill had the most wonderful care at the hospital. Absolutely wonderful. All of the staff were so caring, compassionate, and respectful and we couldn't be more grateful. They are an absolute credit to their profession and the NHS," she added.

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Shakespeare was a former employee at Rolls-Royce and was a parish councilor. He had served at his local community in Allesley for more than 30 years. The resident of Brownshill Green and an inpatient at Coventry's frailty ward where he received his first vaccine had said he was "pleased" to have received the vaccine. A picture of him sitting in a chair and staring at the horizon in a hospital gown while receiving the shot had made its way to front pages all over the world. 

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'He was a keen photographer, loved jazz and socializing'

News of his passing was only reported on Tuesday, May 25, and Shakespeare is being mourned by people who came in contact with him. Angela Hopkins, Coventry Labour Party secretary said, "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."

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Innes said, "'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 socializing, 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."

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