The second person to receive the coronavirus vaccine has a very familiar name.
William Shakespeare, 81, is from Warwickshire – like the bard himself.
He received a dose of the freshly-approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination at University Coventry Hospital, shortly after 90-year-old Maggie Keenan became its very first recipient.
They are among the first of 800,000 people who will be immunised in the coming weeks. At the top of the government’s priority list for the rollout are care home residents, healthcare workers and the over-80s.
While people celebrated this latest vaccine news, there were also (obviously) jokes.
Jokes about Shakespeare have bookended the pandemic.
Towards the beginning, when the national lockdown was announced, we were reminded that the playwright wrote King Lear while sheltering from the bubonic plague.
It turns out that he is also part of establishing the new normal.
Of course, we’re not quite there yet. The UK’s initial 800,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are only enough to vaccinate 400,000 people and there’s no evidence to suggest that it will block transmission.
It is also likely that it will be at least spring 2021 by the time the general population receives jabs, after it has been offered to all of those on the government’s priority list. As such, it remains important to follow the government’s social distancing rules and guidelines.
Still, vaccinating vulnerable people like Shakespeare and Keenan is a good start, and welcome news for them and their families.